As I mentioned last time, my friend Trevor is a special young man: student, dramatist, comedian, friend, son, brother, athlete… And he strives for excellence in each of these roles. But because he wisely understands that what he does is not who he is, he could put a serious knee injury into perspective – rightly seeing it as a bothersome obstacle rather than the devastation it might have been to someone else.
You see, Trevor’s identity – the essence of how he views himself – is wrapped up in his Savior, Jesus Christ. Trevor knows in the core of his being that – aside from all his temporal roles and activities – he is really and most importantly a deeply loved child of God, adopted into that relationship through his faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection (Ephesians 1:5). Trevor has chosen to “hang his hat” on that truth, and it makes a huge difference in his day-to-day life.
He’s already temporarily lost his athletic ability, and one day he’ll no longer be able to play basketball at all. One day, he may take a class that throws him for a loop – and the barely-passing grade he’ll earn could wreck his GPA. Friends will betray him. He’ll lose a job. His parents will die. He’ll gain new roles in due time, but even the various things he does throughout his adult life will each be fleeting and merely “for a season.”
In contrast, his identity as a child of God is solid, unchanging, and eternal. As a result, Trevor is ultimately secure, no matter what troubles come his way. What about the young people in your life? When you ask, “Who are you?” what do they say?
We all perhaps think first about our various “jobs” (I’m a wife, mom, teacher, writer), and kids will probably answer in similar ways. But are they clinging to those various roles, relying on activities and human relationships to give their lives meaning? Or can they put all of that into proper perspective and see that, ultimately, who they comes down to their response to Jesus? Can you?
My soul finds rest in God alone
My Rock and my Salvation.
A Fortress strong against my foes,
And I will not be shaken.