I have been musing much on our identity lately, and the things we identify ourselves with.
Everyone is known by something — we all have something that we identify with, that we will cling to, that makes us comfortable. We all have something that makes us fit in, that people will think of when they think of us.
Maybe these thoughts have stemmed from the fact that my sisters identity will soon be changing — the identity she has had for the past 20 years will no longer be hers. She will be assuming a new identity; her husbands last name, and will always after be identified with him.
But I have been thinking about it in more ways than just that.
There are a myriad of things we identify ourselves with. Some identify themselves by their clothing choices. Some by their cellphones, or the tablets, or always having the latest and greatest device. Others identify themselves by what they read and how many books they have been able to finish. Some identify by the fact that they drink coffee and love the stuff, or by the fact that they absolutely hate it. We identify each other as dog lovers or cat lovers; as homeschoolers or public schooled; as live-at-home-daughters or those who are working. We even go so far as to label those who cook meals from scratch, and those who purchase pre-packaged food. We identify ourselves by our jobs, by our speech, by our actions.
All of this is great and good. We are unique people, with individual personalities, and certain special places created for us in this world. We won’t be the same, and therein lies the problem.
We all try to “fit in” and be alike.
We want the latest and greatest devices, like our friends have.
We want the latest styles in clothing, because our friends are wearing them.
We want to listen to the same music our friends do.
We want to cut our hair in the latest style, or apply cosmetics in the trendiest way, all because our friends do.
We want to dress the same, act the same, talk the same, read the same books, watch the same movies, listen to the same music, play the same instruments.
We do all this without giving one thought to the greater thing that each and every one of us should strive to identify ourselves with. If we call ourselves Christians — born again believers — Christ followers — then we should strive to identify ourselves by Christ alone. Instead of looking to see what “so-and-so” has, does, or wants, we should turn to Christ and see what He would have us to desire, do, and say.
Having an identity of American is worthless if I don’t first and foremost have an identity of Christian.
Identifying myself as the oldest daughter is worthless if I don’t first identify with the One who died for my sin.
Identifying myself as a reader of books is worthless if I don’t first read and study the Scriptures.
Having an identity of homeschool graduate means absolutely nothing if I am not willing to learn to think Christ’s thoughts after Him.
Identifying myself as a stay-at-home daughter is worth nothing if I am doing no good for Christ’s kingdom.
Having an identity of a large family is meaningless if I don’t love them as Christ loved me.
Being known as a single lady is not worth anything at all if I am not first known as being content in Christ.
Being known as a girl who can cook is worth nothing if I don’t flavor my words with the fragrance of Christ.
Being known as a person who loves to garden and work outside isn’t worth anything if I refuse to weed my own shortcomings out of my life.
Being known as a person who can play music and sing in choirs is merely a clanging symbol if I don’t worship the Lord in His holiness.
If I were unable to stay home, and had to get a job, would I still be known as the person who desired to further God’s Kingdom in this world? If I were to get married and lose my identity as a single lady, would I still be known as a person who was utterly, joyful content in Christ? If I suddenly lose all knowledge of cooking an edible meal, would others still know me as the a person who’s words reflected Christ crucified?
We need to remember that our personalities are flawed at best, and that we live in an imperfect, sinful world. What our friends do, that might be just fine for them, may not be the Lord’s best for our lives. And we need to recognize that, understand that, and trust God to lead the way.
I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.