The messenger is the message.
It’s interesting, all humans seek acceptance and identity. There is something in us all that longs to be known and to be secure in who we are.
I remember my sense of rejection. I never felt loved or cared for. I was also small, my nickname was flea. When I was a freshman in high school I weighed seventy five pounds. I always felt I had to prove myself. I acted out. I drank, smoked dope, dropped pills and usually did all things to excess. I had very little confidence and was insecure. I was searching, looking for something to fill my heart, to find a place where I could fit and where I could be accepted.
My freshman year I was sent to St. Joe, a boarding school. During that year my parents divorced. I thought they split because of my bad behavior… that I was the reason. The feeling of loss, disappointment and guilt was overwhelming.
One day I decided to go the chapel to talk to God. I knelt down and began talking, pouring out my heart. Suddenly, I felt a presence. I didn’t know anything about the Holy Spirit, but I did know this felt Presence was God, and I knew He was Holy. I also knew I was not. I was fearful of this awesome presence and quickly left the room.
Years later I met Jesus and was filled with the Holy Spirit. The greatest gift I received, outside of forgiveness, was a new sense of Whose and who I was. I gained a new identity and loving acceptance. I began to understand.
I was driving a friend’s car one day. When I turned into the gravel driveway I slid the car sideways showing off; gravel spewed every where. My friend, who owned the car, calmly walked over to me and said, “Steve, you don’t have to do that anymore.” I understood. I could just be me. I didn’t have to prove myself to anyone any more.To be honest it’s been a life long process.
Who defines you? This is a great question. We allow so many voices into our lives: bosses, parents, friends, and culture.
I have a friend who is Native. When she was a child she was taken from her family by “missionaries” and placed in a school far away from all she knew. She was punished if she spoke her native language. Yep, this really happened. People were attempting to squeeze her into their mold and redefine her. Over the years she began to study and now has two masters degrees. Amazingly, she is now following Jesus. Here’s the kicker, she is recording her language so it will not be lost. She defined Whose she is and who she is, and more importantly, did not allow her experiences to hinder her or limit her abilities.
Her decisions determined her destiny.
I believe identity, understanding Whose we are and who we allow to define us, is a key to unlocking the hearts of a new generation who are searching for a new reality. We have the Good News.
Who defines you?
A good question?