Who Are You?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Have you ever had a church sermon that really hit home? Like the speaker was looking right at you. I had one such experience yesterday morning. The message addressed exactly what I have been struggling with lately--my identity. I know some of you are thinking "If I wanted a preacher, I would go to church--now show me some pretty pictures!!" I am not here to preach, nor am I qualified. (And patience, the pretty pics are coming!) This is just information that hit me over the head like a ton of bricks. It gave me such a sense of freedom and rejuvenation when I heard it, that I just had to share. Now, I am not trying to convert you over to my church. There are some truths that transcend the segregating borders of differing religions and beliefs. Some teachings can truly apply to everyone, and I believe that this is one such lesson.

The concept is about an individual's purpose and their worth in life. And how you can get sidetracked from your purpose if you let other people determine your worth. For example, say I stole Jenny's boyfriend when I was 15. From that moment on, Jenny (and anyone within earshot of her) sees me as a skanky person with no sense of moral integrity. Now, 13 years later I am an entirely different woman. But I know that they all know about this horrible incident from my past. So anytime I see Jenny or her friends, I skulk on by with my head hanging down. Instantly, I regress back to an awkard teenager trying to fit in. Everytime I interact with someone who knows of one of my regrets from the past, I am reminded of how weak and vulnerable I am. And although I would never do those things now, I know that I was once guilty of them. This makes me think that maybe I am not "qualified" to do the great things that I aspire to. Perhaps, I am just that skany teenager pretending to be someone else now. You can see how this could hinder the progress in your life. There is a famous saying, People call you what you will answer to. So, yes, people can and will talk; but they can only bring you down as far as you let them. Rather than allowing them to keep you stuck in the past, you must declare who you are now--in the present. And who you strive to be in the future. After all, who knows you better that you? Shouldn't you be the one who determines who you are and what you stand for?

So I learned two great things from this message to keep in mind when I interact with people:

  1. I should not let people around me (most of whom hardly know me) tell me who I am.
  2. We all make mistakes and are broken in some way. So cut folks some slack and look at their potential rather than their flaws.
  3. Oh, and I should stop doing stupid things that make me feel bad about myself.
You may be a lot smarter than I am and already know this stuff. If so, pass it along! Now as promised--pretty pictures. Happy Monday!


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