Speaker and author Sadie Robertson Huff encouraged young believers to find their identity in Christ — and not in what the world or personality tests tell them — in order to live God-glorifying lives and discover their purpose.
“I want to remind you of who you are tonight. I want to talk about identity, which should be a great conversation, right?" the 24-year-old "Duck Dynasty" star told thousands of young adults gathered for Passion 2022 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Jan. 2.
"As a culture, we love to talk about identity. We’re obsessed with our identity," she continued. "We love to talk about who we are. But also, it’s kind of strange because although we are obsessed with talking about who we are, nobody likes to actually be hit with the question, 'Who are you?”
For many, there is "anxiety and insecurity" around the question, "Who am I?" Huff contended.
“Because truthfully, you’re sitting here right now and I know there are thousands of you in this room thinking the same thing: ‘I have no clue who I am.' ... That is a hard place to be, friends, but you're not alone,” she added.
Other times, people tend to be confused about who they are because they identify with many different things instead of finding fulfillment in their God-given identity.
A few weeks ago, Huff said, she wrote a post on Instagram which asked her followers the question: "What do you identify yourself with?" The first group of respondents identified external factors such as "my looks" and "my sexuality." The second group of people, however, responded with “confidence," "I am who [God] says I am."
Although Huff said she finds the second group of people's answers to be “awesome,” she said, she imagines that some of the people at the Passion conference sent answers from both groups.
“That’s awesome that you know the answer to that question,” she said. “Has that actually changed who you are? Has who He says that you are actually changed the nature of who you are? Because we can say it all day long and we can even say it with confidence, but that doesn’t mean we’re a confident person.”
Huff shared how, in the past, she was "insecure," afraid" and "living in shame" despite understanding what God said about her.
"What He said about me didn’t actually change me,” she said. “Friends, you can know everything He says about you, but what ultimately matters is who He is to you. … If He’s not on the throne of your life, then what He says about you isn’t actually going to change who you are."
The Live Original author read from Matthew 16:13, where Jesus asks His disciples, "Who do you say I am?" In response, the Apostle Peter says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Then, Jesus responds by saying: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
"Notice, when Peter recognized who Jesus was, Jesus in return told Peter who he was,” Huff explained.
“Peter’s identity was not found in who Peter found himself to be," she continued. "Peter’s identity was not found in who other people told Peter that he was or what they thought of him. Peter’s identity was found in who Jesus said he was, after first establishing that Jesus is God. That’s the most important question you can answer tonight, friends: Who is God to you?”
Whoever is on the throne of someone’s life dictates who they are, she stressed. Therefore, it's important for Christians to know their identity, because who a Christian believes they are will directly impact their actions.
“After Peter was given his identity, he then was given his mission to build a church. So we have to understand who God is, to understand who we are, to understand what we are called to do," she declared.
Many times, Huff said, Christians in society look to the world or personality tests more than they look to Jesus in order to find their identity.
"We’re trying to take all these personality tests to lead us and guide us through our lives instead of leaning on the Holy Spirit," she lamented.
“We’re scrolling through social media trying to figure out answers to these massive questions about who we are, looking at TikTok, looking at Snapchat articles, trying to figure out, 'Who am I?’ instead of really leaning into the voice of God,” Huff said.
She added that though she appreciates personality tests like the Enneagram and Myers–Briggs, she understands that none of those things can tell her more about who she is than the One who knit her together in her mother's womb.
“Because what happens is, when I say that those things are what I identify with, it excuses me to not have to be what I’m called to be," she said. "I'll say … ‘I have a very fearful personality. I’m just going to be afraid because that’s who I am. That’s how I was created. This is my identity.' But the Word of God said: ‘You’ve not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control.’”
Some biblical principles "don't feel natural," Huff said, such as the concept of "turning the other cheek" or resisting sexual temptation.
"But I’m going to tell you something that culture will never tell you: Although it may be legitimate to have those feelings, more legitimate than that, is the truth of what God says that you are," she said.
At a time when the word "truth" has lost its meaning, Huff encouraged audiences to remember that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
"We want to be our own version of truth," she continued. "We want to be loved. We want to be power. We want to get control over our life. And we're trying to take on all these attributes of God. What we're not considering is trying to carry the weight of who God is. You also have to consider that you've got to carry the weight of your sin."
Every person is created "original," Huff said, but "we can't go find out more about our originality and our identity by who the world says we are."
"We have to find that in who God is, who He created us to be, based off the nature of who He is," she declared.
When believers "get a good look at who God is" and know who they are in Christ, the "enemy will no longer try to intimidate you because he's intimidated by who God is within you," she declared.
Huff quoted what the Bible says about the character and nature of God, reminding attendees that He is "our Savior, our guide, our peace, our Lord."
"When you fall, He will lift you up. When you fail, He will forgive you. When you're weak, He is strong. When you're afraid, He is your courage," she emphasized.
"If you believe that that is who your God is, you will not be confused by who you are, because He's not confused by who He is, and He is not confused on the purpose of your life."
Launched by Louie Giglio in 1997, the Passion movement "has a singular mission — calling students and leaders from campuses across the nation and cities around the world to live for what matters most," reads the event website.
Other speakers at this year’s two-day event included Tim Tebow, David Platt, Jackie Hill-Perry, Christine Caine and others.