Misplaced Identity

I often forget who I am. I forget where my identity comes from, who my identity rest in. I begin to think that my identity is found in my marriage, or in my job, or in the lives of students that I may have impacted, or in the cool guitar lick that I figured out how to play, or in the analogy I came up with for a lesson...or in the knowledge of computers that I have, or in how much stuff I can get, or in my past sins and current failures.

But none of those things is where my true identity rests. My identity is found in God. In His story. But I forget that sometimes. Sometimes I even think that my identity in Christ will keep me safe. But I am reminded that I am expendable. (Thanks Grant.)

I can't help but think of the students that I minister to. Of course they are searching for identity. Some find it in sex, some in 'substances', some in their friends. Some are waiting for identity to begin after high school, some after college, some even after that. I know I always was waiting for the next thing to come along. But their identity is now, who they are in Christ...the part they play in God's story.

I watched the movie thirteen which I'm not officially recommending, but it shows one girl's search for identity and the rabbit trail of destruction she brings upon herself as she looks in the wrong places.

So how can we help students find identity and faith? A great article put out by YS gives some great ideas derived from a recent study of high-schoolers passing on to college.

One of the ideas was that we need to provide an environment where doubt and questioning can be expressed. I know that when I had those chances, my faith grew. But it seems that the general culture of the church is not one where doubt and questioning can be expressed without people thinking that you are faithless.

Your thoughts? Solutions?

1 comment:

  1. Smaller is better, when it comes to questioning and doubt. Everyone has questions, but very few are willing to admit it in front of a group of their peers. That's why the church should be characterized by intergenerational friendships (not just in youth ministry -- throughout the church).