|What is true identity?|
Manganiello states that if we merely focus on the surface of life and what he calls as our “family-based conditioned self-image”, we limit ourselves to live and act in accord with that identity verses living in accord with our souls. That disconnection with one’s soul is demonstrated through “neurotic achievement”. Manganiello describes this as one’s actions of seeking security and satisfaction through money, power, or any other superficial means. Ultimately, this display of disconnection will lead to more stress and anxiety that results in one being more vulnerable to health problems and early death.
I believe that this is a valuable perspective and can be applied to Christian counseling.
Understanding that the “soul” or “true identity” of a person is defined in Christ, will help Christian counselors see past a person’s surface identity. We will not be affective Christian counselors if we merely focus on changing a person’s “surface identity”. Rather, in order to be affective Christian counselors, we must help people live in accord with their “true identity” that can only be found in Christ. Anything else from that will only lead to false security and satisfaction. As Christian counselors, we are to guide our counselees to seek that security in Christ not in things of this world.
Although we all have our identity in Christ, we were all given the freedom to choose to embrace it or to reject it. If we so choose to reject it, instead of living freely, we will be bound to the limitations that we ourselves establish based on our surface identity.
Living in accord with your identity in Christ will empower one to live with purpose, in certainty that his life has meaning because he was given a soul “your essential identity” that will persist beyond this world to be in union with God.