You may have read my recent post Who Are You WIthout Your Phone? Well, our latest dinner table discussion probes a little further with an even more foundational, yet very basic question. Simply: Who Am I?
From that one question there is one truth for all of us. Yet, from that one question it manifests itself differently in each of us. At our table it went something like this…
- Who Am I if I strike out?
- Who Am I if I lose the Student Council election?
- Who Am I if I don’t get an “A” on the test?
- Who Am I if I look bad in front of someone else?
- Who Am I if no one reads my blog?
- Who Am I if the scale goes up a pound?
- Who Am I if my house is not picked up?
- Who Am I if I forgot to make my son a testing poster?
- Who Am I if I don’t give a good sermon?
- Who Am I if I don’t get my 10,000 steps in?
- Who Am I if I can’t be all things to all people?
You may identify with some of these, but you will have your own list that hits you personally. Your own expectations that if not met make you feel like a failure. Or, convince you that others see you as a failure.
But the truth behind every one of these things are the issues of identity and idolatry. If Who I Am is based on measuring up, fulfilling or succeeding in these things than that is how I will determine my worth. So when I fail I will have to work harder so that I am viewed better. And the more I look to these things for my identity the bigger the idol of having to have it becomes.
But what if instead our children could rest and be OK if they strike out, lose an election, fail a test, look like a fool in front of someone?
What if instead we could rest and be OK if we are not always the perfect parent, the super volunteer, the best hostess, the most successful or even when we disappoint someone else’s expectations?
The only way we can do this – to rest and be OK – is if our identity is rooted in Christ. If we see that His love was set upon us before the foundation of the earth. If we understand it is His righteous robes we wear. If we believe He had to suffer and die to give us life. If we trust that His grace is so sufficient that even when we fail Him or others, He won’t let go of us. If we know His opinion is the only one that matters and His opinion declares us Sons and Daughters of the King!
Only then it won’t matter what others think. We won’t have to turn to all those idols for our identity because we will rest knowing we have His delight. If only we could get this, it would save us a lot of worry and striving. By His grace I hope we do!
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