My ideas on identity formation come from social science research. The theoretical constructs provided there give basis for many of my ideas, but what about Scripture?
The idea of identity formation can be found in the Scripture, but not as they are laid out in social science. Many of the same principles are found, but of course, Scripture is special revelation and social science observes general revelation. All things were created by Him so why would it be different.
Teleios is the greek word for this idea of completeness, mature, lacking nothing. It is possible to mature to the point where you are perfect. Teleios = perfect. In Scripture, this idea of perfection has to do with identifying with the sufferings of Christ. Only in identifying with his suffering can you one day become Teleios.
Teleios is not simply physical maturity. In fact, it is not possible to be Teleios until we one day are in heaven and have new bodies, but we can be pretty close to Teleios here on this life – seemingly perfect.
Teleios is only possible though when we identify with the suffering. Similar to Marcia’s identity formation ideas, crisis is what forms. As one experiences crisis, they are forced to choose. Similarly, as one experiences suffering – the suffering shapes their identity and ideas. It helps them to become who they are.
There is a strong connection between this identity being formed by outward things. There is a reciprocal relationship between your sense of self – what happens around you – your perspective of what happens around you and how that changes your sense of self. I think then ultimately, identity is that dynamic, ever changing process of continually becoming yourself – through of course your reflection of your self and other people’s perspective of your self.