"Every man leaves a lasting influence... that will affect future generations for centuries to come. But let's face it, not all legacies are the same. Some are productive, others are destructive. Some are illustrious, others are infamous... what kind of a legacy will you leave behind? A spiritual legacy is one that money can't buy and taxes can't take away, it is passing down to the next generation what matters most."
Steven J. Lawson

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A New Identity

I confess that the idea for this post was provided in part by my dear friend Sammy Rhodes. Today, I was listening to the first RUF podcast from this semester at Georgia Southern University. The theme of this talk was "Identity Crisis". The identity crisis dealt with here is the identity crisis experienced in college. So I am unabashedly borrowing this theme to share with you about my identity crisis and how it ties into the issue of manhood.
It is my observation that most high school teens are in a constant state of angst and drama. They worry about fitting in and being liked by their friends, while being bombarded from every form of media that they have to look a certain way, do certain things, and have a special personality type or they won't be "cool". Identity is something that teens spend their every waking moment being anxious about. I know personally, as an awkward kid in middle and high school, I was always worrying about others thought of me and tried to be one of the in-crowd.
Once senior year rolled around, my identity, was in my mind, cemented in a comfortable place. Only when I started college, did I realize that I was mistaken. My desire for approval came back, and this time, I understood that it was idolatry. My world changed. The idea that wanting others' approval was a form of idolatry was new to me.
College is an exciting time for anyone, but a time where you experience things that shape you for the rest of our life. Your identity shifts again as you grow and (hopefully) mature in an adult. They tell us that they are the most exciting times in our lives. In college, I never fully figured out who I was as a person, or what I wanted to do with my life. I felt directionless and frustrated, but was constantly being reminded that my identity was not in what I did for a living or if I was athletic or not. Once I was identified as a sinner justly deserving God's wrath and in desperate need of a Savior. Now that I have been saved by God's boundless grace, I have a new identity. My identity is in Jesus Christ. Because he is my identity, I don't have to worry what others think about me, or how cool I look simply for no other reason than Jesus views me as his son covered by his grace and free in him. I was reminded of these truths today while listening to "Identity Crisis". Thank you Sammy for the reminder!

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grannimcd said...
September 16, 2010 at 5:30 AM  

Very impressive thoughts and words to ponder. Thanks for sharing.

debbie bailey said...
September 17, 2010 at 5:44 PM  

I'm so proud of your progress into manhood and look forward to reading that book you're writing. I love you!