Wikipedia defines identity as “the conception, qualities, beliefs, and expressions that make a person or group.” From this it is easy to distinguish what makes a big part of German identity. When you hear Germans talking about “Germany” they usually talk about the German football national team. It is understood by everybody that the term “Germany” means their football national team. What could tell you more about a quality or belief that forms the German identity?

There are other things than football that build one’s identity. In younger years it’s the outward appearance that teenagers draw their identity from. Clothing and especially brand names are very important. If one is not wearing the right brand of jeans in school, he can easily be mocked by others. But the older one becomes the more others things or achievements can contribute to one’s identity: Mobile phone, car, house, education, job, career, company, hobby, sport, ideology, nationality, friends, spouse, kids, grandkids. Some of these things seem quite vain while other things seem to be worthwhile to build your identity on. Still they all have one thing in common: They all can fail, they all can let you down if you are building your identity solely on them: A car accident, a failed exam, a dismissal notice, bankruptcy, a divorce, death of a close friend and the ground one is standing on is torn away. Maybe one figures out that he built his life on sand.

This is not meant to make one afraid about the uncertainties of life or to prevent one from engaging in other people’s lives. It is meant to realize that one needs more than the above mentioned things to build one’s ultimate identity on. Something that won’t fail: Knowing that you are unconditionally loved by your Creator gives you the right self-esteem that helps you in times when other things or people are failing and that keeps you away from searching for love and acceptance in the wrong places.