From: April ~
Before I sit here to pour out my mind and heart concerning identity, I’m wondering myself, well who am I today? And from what perspective am I going to bring this blog? From a mom standpoint? From a widowed cancer survivor? From a daughter who has always had identity issues from early on? From a church-going Christian? From a Worship band member and musician? Forget it, I can’t just pick one.
But do I really need to?
I’m all of these things. A lot of people are. We play a lot of diverse roles. So why is it so hard sometimes to figure out who we are? As if we have to pick one to be our calling card? We search for our identity in a “bundle”. Who am I as a nice and neat package? What one thing defines me? How do I not let the past contribute to who I think I am today? Better yet, how do I make sure my past doesn’t affect how EVERYONE ELSE sees me? How do I unpack the baggage so my identity today isn’t tainted and weighed down? The answer is simple.
Notice how the questions always seem to be “How do I…?, How can I….?
If we are searching for one definition of ourselves based on ourselves, we will spend our whole lives searching. But if we are searching for one definition of ourselves based on eternity…and not from an Iternity…
Answer: Jesus Christ
It’s so hard to train ourselves NOT to care about the opinions of others. But it’s what drives our universe, and therefor what drives our “identity”. Think about it, literally everything is based on an opinion of some sort. From clothes to food to music to movies. None of it would be on shelves if it weren’t “approved” by someone somewhere. We live in a world where if a famous person Twitters, “ I’m wearing all my clothes backwards tomorrow”, the next day half the planet would have their clothes on backwards and uncomfortable as heck. But we wouldn’t dream of voicing that. We would rather have the world’s approval at the price of enduring pain and discomfort than to see it for what it truly is. Shallow and empty. So stupid. Then the next day the focus shifts to the drama trending, and who cheated on who, and we can’t wait to call Suzy and talk about it. Then the Sarah McLaughlin commercial about abused animals comes on and for a second we have a heart, and we want to open animal shelters all over the United States. The focus is constantly shifting. From one empty and selfish hope to another. I would love to know the basis for which ADD is diagnosed. Because if it’s “Inability to remain focused on one topic”, we’ve all got it. Adderol all around.
If we search for our identity based on the approval of the world, we will be so very lost because the trends change daily, hourly, and even minute by minute. Who can keep up with that? No one. That’s why half our planet needs medication.
Unfortunately it’s a lot easier to listen to the world because its voice is so very audible and visible all around us. But if we aren’t careful, we will find ourselves chasing wind, with no focus.
“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 1:14
So how do we shut the world out? How do we keep it from poisoning our thought process?
By shifting our focus to a full and selfless hope.
Our focus HAS to be on Jesus.
Our identity CAN be found in one simple package. Through Jesus Christ, our identity in Him is the only one that matters. It’s the only TRUE identity we have. The only one that doesn’t change. The way He sees us is not the way we see ourselves. How our family has defined us is not our true identity.
“The way HE sees us is not the way we see ourselves.”
Scripture has a great example of this.
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” (Hebrews 11:24-25 NIV)
Moses struggled with his identity. He was born Jewish but raised Egyptian. Im sure he asked himself on more than one occasion, “Who am I?” This was huge because answering this would dictate how the rest of his life would go. He was in line to be Pharaoh. But he would have to say, “I’m an Egyptian” and straight up lie about his heritage. He would have lived a life of ease. He would have had it all. Money and rock and roll.
But, If he said what he really was, a Jew, it would mean humiliation, exile and being forced to live among slaves until he died. What would you choose? Would you stay true to yourself? Or go for what’s easy? Even if it meant living with secret pain, putting who you really are up on a shelf in a locked up box?
I’m almost positive that you would, right this second, answer that with a very brave and noble ” I would be myself no matter what”. But if you really and truly were in this situation, I’m not so sure the choice would be so easy to make.
People always have an opinion on who THEY think YOU should be. Even “good Christian people”. Be careful. No one has the authority to designate an identity to you.
has the authority
an identity to you”.
And even though our physical heritage does not define our true identity, the point is, that Moses chose Jesus. He shifted his focus to Jesus. Through the eyes of Jesus, Moses could not sit and watch his people be mistreated while he went and partied it up. These were people of God, like himself. So he chose the narrow road. The road that cost him his worldly “life”. But gained him life in Jesus. He found his true heritage in the line of Christ.
Yes, I am a mother who worries about her kids every day, imperfect and flawed. Im also a widow. Ive lost people in my life to death or circumstance which makes me bitter and angry sometimes. I’m a cancer survivor. I’m also someone who has struggled with identity issues from many standpoints. Mostly based on what people may or may not think of me. I’m also an artist, a musician, an athlete, and a doctor (Only to my kids). Ive had almost every kind of job from Panera Bread to cabinetry to a bank to a Neurology office. I have many gifts, many flaws and too much pride. But not one of them defines me. I am beautifully and wonderfully made in His image. In HIS lineage.
Our true heritage is in the line of Christ. No we may not all be Jewish. Lord knows I have no tan. But our Savior sees no skin color. He sees no baggage, or past, or flaw. We are perfect in his sight.
Don’t let these things of the world shift your focus to unsteady and unstable identity trends. These only tell us how inadequate we are. Don’t get caught up chasing the wind. Solidify yourself. Claim your identity in Jesus Christ. You are more than adequate JUST the way you are. Just let Him lead the way.
That’s where I drive my stake.
Who are you today?