My wife, Rachel, and I recently watched a movie called “Overcomer.” There is a particular scene when high school teacher and cross country coach, John Harrison, is visiting a man in the hospital. The man in the hospital, Thomas Hill, asks John the following question; “Who are you?” Before you continue reading, watch the three minute clip of the scene.
According to Websters-Dictionary, the word “define” means to determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning of. It is very easy to allow our title/status, social media, (Facebook, Instagram, Tik-Tok, etc.) politics, and our hurts, habits, & hangups to identify the meaning of our lives. It is important for us to recognize what is defining us because our personal definitions will determine the roles we will play in this life time. Let me give you an illustration.
“Our personal definitions will determine the roles we will play in this life time.”Tweet
I currently serve as the Pastor of Student Ministries for Morning Star Fellowship in Quakertown Pennsylvania. One of my responsibilities is to build a leadership team that is built and equipped to disciple the next generation for Jesus Christ. Each leader on the team has different roles which include: leading a group activity, teaching, handling the media/sound system, preparing snacks, and welcoming students. Each role is specifically defined for each leader, so they understand the purpose behind what they do. What would happen if they weren’t defined or if others started defining the roles? The leaders would be confused, conflicted, and frustrated.
Unfortunately, many people today are confused, conflicted, and frustrated because they don’t know what defines them or they are allowing things to define them.
“Unfortunately, many people today are confused, conflicted, and frustrated because they don’t know what defines them or they are allowing things to define them.”Tweet
As a reader, maybe you are one of those people. You’ve searched for answers, allowed your job title, your hurts, or your social media post define you, but you know it’s not who you are. You get frustrated at what you see. You have an inner conflict, and your confused on what you should do next. While I don’t claim to have all the answers, let me point you to the source who does.
In the fall of 2013 I graduated from college and started working with the school I graduated from as an Admissions Counselor. During my time there, I did a lot of travel across New York. One day I would be in Albany and three days later in Long Island. I loved traveling, meeting with other counselors, and connecting with students who were interested in going to college. The one thing I didn’t love was myself. I was dealing with a lot of insecurities, fears, and doubts about my life and who I was. The same question came to my mind “Who am I?”
During one of my trips to New York I met a man named Joshua Birchfield who noticed my struggle. During a lunch break before our next college fair Josh had the courage to ask me about my faith life. My response? “Well I am Catholic.” I said softly to him. Josh responded, “Do you know who Jesus Christ?” Again, I responded, “I am Catholic.” Josh then asked me what that meant to me, but I had no answer. Finally, Josh asked me “Mike, do you like who you are?” My thought was, “How did he know I was struggling with this?” I broke and told him I didn’t. Josh then had the courage to walk me through the Gospel Message and on that October afternoon I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.
As the reader, you might be asking, what does this story have to do with me? When Josh was breaking down the Gospel Message, he mentioned that God loved me, even with all my hurts, habits, and hangups. That caught my attention. I asked him “How could God love me?” Josh responded, “Because He created you.”
I asked him “How could God love me?” Josh responded, “Because He created you.”Tweet
Genesis 1:26-27 reads as followed;
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image. in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”-Genesis 1:26-27
When I read those verses for the first time, I realized that my fears, worries, hurts, guilt, and shame didn’t create me, but God created me. What does that mean you may ask? Since God created me, He defines me! And since He created you, He defines you!
Since God created me, He defines me! And since He created you, He defines you!Tweet
Since God defines us, how are we defined?
As A New Creation
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”-2nd Corinthians 5:17
And what are we suppose to do?
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”-Matthew 22:36-40
As we close, we are in a unique situation not just in our nation, but across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly turned our world upside down. Many are in isolation dealing with fears, anxieties, worry, and a lack of hope. While it is okay to feel this way, it’s not okay to let them define us. Remember, Satan, the world, your hurts, habits, and hangups, your job title, and your followers don’t define you, God does.
Many are in isolation dealing with fears, anxieties, worry, and a lack of hope. While it is okay to feel this way, it’s not okay to let them define us.Tweet
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”-2nd Timothy 1:7