Monday, October 15, 2012

30 Days of Authenticity-Day 7: Identity

"Give up yourself and you will find your real self.  Lose your life and you will save it."
~C.S. Lewis

I can't think of many things that would leave me more miserable than not knowing who I am.  I know people who are constantly trying to figure it out and it's so heartbreaking to watch.  You know the type.  They wander around from group to group, job to job, hobby to hobby.  They're really high on life when they first make their ways into latest venture.  They're unstoppable, spirited, sometimes so confident that it's obnoxious.  Then reality sets in and they're done with it before they really even started.  They're deflated, defeated, and depressed.  They're unpleasant to be around because they're so lost.  It's a nasty cycle.  It's painful to watch.  Why does it happen?  Why is identity so hard to find?

First of all, we have more media sources than ever telling us who we're supposed to be today.  You have voices from music, movies, TV, reality TV, Facebook, Twitter, and tons of other places telling us who to emulate, who to watch, who to adore, and who to worship.  Our media tells us what to think and believe.  We stupidly depend on media to define what "normal" means and to set the standards for a happy, successful life.  While we sincerely love our families and friends, we've often got those voices telling us who to be too.  They usually mean well and are just trying to help, but is there anything worse than trying to fit into a mold that others have chosen for you? 

If you're a follower of Christ trying to find your identity, you've got to block out these voices.  Seek the one voice that matters; that's where you find identity.  Take a deep breath and shut the door.  Turn off the phone.  Talk and listen to God.  Take some time to honestly consider who you are and where your life is going.  This isn't a challenge to find a profession that brings fame, money, or attention.  It's not a chance to figure out which direction is easiest or quickest to obtain.  It's not even a time to reflect on your gifts, whether spiritual or secular.  It's a time to take an honest look at yourself and who you want to be one year from now, five years from now, and ten years from now.  Maybe even beyond that.  Who are you in five years?  Are you still roaming aimlessly from group to group and circle to circle? 

Don't be distracted by what you don't know.  Focus on what you know for certain.  First, you are known and chosen. Isn't that awesome? You are known by Almighty God!

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.~Jeremiah 1:5
Secondly, you are a child of God.  Because of that, you are a co-heir with Christ.  What an ultimate picture of love and adoration!
"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." ~Romans 8:16-17
Lastly, you have been bought.  You are His.  He wouldn't have paid that price if you weren't known, chosen, and loved. 
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."  ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20
It is in these truths that we find identity.  This is what matters.  We don't find identity, our authentic identity, in the Kardashians or Jersey Shore.  We don't find identity through the number of Facebook friends or Twitter followers.  We don't find identity in paychecks or fame.  We find identity and true authenticity in Christ.  We are nothing without Him.  This is yet another awesome Pinterest find.  Doesn't this say it all? 

If you were supposed to roam from place to place trying to blend in with your surroundings, you'd be a chameleon.  But, you're not.  You are known, set apart, and purchased.  Honor God with who you are.  Let your life reflect that you are His.  Find your identity; when you've got that, authenticity makes itself known.  Be you, just you; not the "you" that the voices and sources are telling you to be.  Be who you are in Christ.  The rest will fall into place. 

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