Identity. Who am I? Who am I really???
The short answer to this question is quite simple: I am God’s child. And this should always be the starting point when we give ourselves the luxury of internal self-seeking. This needs to be the rock-solid truth that we come back to over and over again, also in the realisation that our perceptions do not often reflect reality. Our perceptions are too often clouded by circumstance, by the lives of others around us or by influence of others. Our perceptions can make us question this truth when we find things difficult, or when others seem to be living far better and more successful lives.
The truth of the matter is that God does not change. His promises don’t either.
The reality of the matter is that it is we who change. We think we have to live up to the expectations of others. We compare ourselves to others and wonder why we can’t be as cheerful, good-looking, smart, funny, well presented, or whatever. We are afraid of the judgement of others… what are they thinking of me? We convince ourselves that our friends are not really friends; they are just putting up with us to be kind.
We go through difficult circumstances and live behind a façade. Even though it looks as if we have things in control, we actually don’t. Inwardly, we struggle with difficult thoughts about where we might fit, perhaps about strained relationships, and possibly about the reason for life. We might become anxious, sad, depressed. We might be struggling with a particular sin in our life such as the beginnings of, or an addiction to pornography. We may be dealing with gender identity… and other stuff we don’t want to talk about because it’s too hard and we’re afraid of rejection and shame. We may even come to convincing ourselves that we can’t be God’s child, because we are not good enough, that we are not like them.
We look for solutions; the age of self-help and anonymity brings us to all sorts of places through Dr Google. Which convinces us all the more that we are really not good enough!
The reality of the matter is that we have forgotten our identity as God’s children. And this is very important, because when we forget this, we also forget that He knows exactly what struggles we have. Even the dark stuff. For when we know our true identity, as hard as it may be, we also know that those difficulties are by design and that they have purpose. And so, we turn to those whom the Lord gives to help us seek answers, be it parents, pastors, elders, friends well-grounded in the faith, counsellors. And they help us see that though the situation we are in is real and is difficult, they provide the “but God….”
May the Lord keep you in His care,
M Plug, Principal