“Raise your hand if you’re Irish!” Growing up my dad would say this as we were driving through Irish town in upstate NY.
After he would say that three hands would shoot up. My dad’s, my brother’s and mine. My mom, who is not Irish, would just roll her eyes and smile and sigh at my dad, never being able to raise her hand.
One day, my brother noticed that she did not raise her hand, and told her to raise her hand. She told him that she couldn’t because she wasn’t Irish. She tried her best to explain to Kevin, who was very little at the time, that we were Irish because daddy was Irish. She wasn’t Irish, but she was Norwegian. We were also Norwegian like her, and daddy wasn’t.
My brother still did not understand this concept and immediately burst into tears. He was hysterical and cried, “Mom, I want to be what you are…”
I love this story because it reminds me how my brother sought to find his identity in what our mom was.
Aren’t we like that too? We find these “things” whatever they may be, and we turn to them and ask them to define us. Some may put their identity in their profession. When they are doing well in their work they feel successful, when things are not going so well, they feel like a failure. Some may put their identity in their children, maybe in their material possessions. We all seek to be identified in some way.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) tells us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
I love this verse because it tells me who I am, where I come from, and what I am supposed to do. I am God’s handiwork, I am created in Christ Jesus, and I am to do His good works, which He has prepared in advance for me to do. I cannot think of placing my identity in something better than this!
When we choose to set our identity set in Christ, we are choosing to be like Him. We are making the decision to live like Him, act like Him and speak like Him. As Christians we should strive to have our identity be in Christ. When people see us, we should want the first thing that they see to be Christ in us.
It’s hard not to get caught up in the worldly things of today. Many things come at us everyday asking us to place our identity in it. We must remember what Christ tells us in Colossians 3:2 (NIV), “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” We must remember to focus on eternal things, which is why it is so important that our identity be firmly planted in Christ.
Just as my younger brother cried out to my mom, “I want to be what you are…” we should also cry out to God wanting to be more like Him.Leave a Comment