Hello all trust you are well? I’m fantastic. Let’s get to business. First of all I’d like to open with a confession that I haven’t been doing much of the reading of the word recently which might explain my inconsistency from time to time (please stay rooted). However, God being God, still manages to use me and trust me I don’t take that for granted one bit. For that reason alone I will not do much of the “bible bashing”, so as not to lead anyone astray. May this message serve its purpose as you read. Amen.
A couple of months back I went to this youth ball that I never considered I’d learn anything from. Needless to say my initial reason for going there was mainly for the food, but God had other plans I guess. Through the music, food, smiles and dancing, came a time where one of the youth leaders was given a few minutes to talk on the theme of being part of the “Royal priesthood”. He figured that as children of God it was good that we should know where we stand in this world. He spoke in length about us getting to know who we were and our true identity, most of which I can’t really remember (sigh). There’s one thing that he said that remains embedded in my brain till today and it was this: “Don’t struggle trying to be someone else because no one else can be you, better than you”. This was enough for me to be honest. If you’re going to strive to be like someone else, who is going to live your own life with your own identity. This might sound so cliché but we do this all the time and it might sound so common now but the reason why it is so is because the problem is still there. Many of us follow the lifestyle of our role models and yet in that process we lose ourselves. That alone can explain the mass depression in our society. I have so much to say about that.
What I study centres around behaviour and the two common terms are conformity (complying with others for social acceptance) and social norms (socially accepted behaviour in our community). I bet my two cents (just in case I’m wrong) that we are all victims of this. Have you done something extreme for someone for the sake of belonging, even to the point that it hurts you ? To what end bro (and sis).
Let me be real with you real quick. Do you know it’s possible that you’ve lost part of your identity so much that you’ve become really partial even with your race, let alone your identity in Christ (I’ll focus on my race if that’s cool) ? Have you been told that black people are too loud so much that you’ve even stopped even sitting at the back of the bus? Have you even found yourself saying “ahhh black people”? Have you started praying and worshipping a certain way because you were told black people pray too loud, dance way too wreck-less and shout when they sing? Who told you that God doesn’t love that part about you? I know I’m strange but I believe Heaven is a very big place and since it is so big surely it can contain so many personalities. That means it is quite possible that in one area of heaven, will lie men and women who will kneel and worship in silence. Some will speak very few words. Some will sing heart felt slow songs and by God’s grace some will express themselves in the stereotypes you see in “sister act” and “Big Momma”. Part of your identity means embracing who you are, even the craziest or loud nature that is in you. Your identity in Christ is about giving Him your all, in your own way. Why give Him what somebody else’s is giving Him?
Now let me get personal. There was a time when my friends prevented me from drinking alcohol. They knew that wasn’t me. I didn’t understand how they could drink but didn’t allow me to conform. Truth is God will work so hard to preserve your identity so much that He will use your friends against you. Haha I remember one of them said “your dad is a pastor, you want to send us straight to hell?” What I couldn’t see then was that sometimes the world will reject you before you have to reject it, and that’s because you’re not a part of it.
I’ll end at this. Just be yourself, and enjoy it. If you’re old, be old, if you’re young, embrace your youth and don’t grow up too fast. Finally remember this, You might get away with a fake ID in this world. Heaven is a different club.
“Jesus came to announce to us that an identity based on success, popularity and power is a false identity- an illusion! Loudly and clearly he says: ‘You are not what the world makes you; but you are children of God.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen,
And that’s not #Omni
God bless you all for reading.
Originally published at innocentmatthew.blogspot.ie on January 14, 2016.