Thursday was a special day for my family. We welcomed a new member. Not through birth. But through adoption. My amazing aunt and uncle adopted a beautiful nine-year-old girl.
Her name is Chloe. And I’m so happy to be her big cousin. But as I ponder this special day, I can’t help but share a message with you. Because Chloe reminds me of my own adoption.
Chloe left the courthouse with a new name. A new birth certificate. A new identity. Why? Because someone willingly chose her. Not because she did anything spectacular.
And that’s my story.
We live in a culture full of comparison. Words like “better” and “more” dominate our vocabulary. Who looks better? Who has more? I think you get the point. And social media doesn’t help.
I’m drawn to a story about comparison in John 21. But first, let me set up the story.
After rising from the dead, Jesus appears to His disciples on a beach. While the disciples fish on a boat, Jesus appears on a shore. But the disciples don’t know it’s Jesus.
The Bible says, “Jesus said to them, ‘Children, do you have any fish?’” (v. 5 ESV).
The disciples have nothing. So Jesus tells them to cast the net on the other side of the boat. As a result, the disciples haul in a load. Well, they try. It’s actually too much of a load to haul in.
You can be as close to God as your heart desires. But a deep relationship with Jesus cannot come through another person. It’s a choice only you can make.
I’m learning the importance of allowing God to search my heart.
David writes, “O LORD, you have searched me and known me!” (Ps. 139:1 ESV).
I don’t know about you, but I want to be known by my Father. And I want to know Him more.
My prayer is for you to desire a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s the most important part of any person. Actually, it’s the purpose of life itself. The Westminster Shorter Catechism, a respected document in Christian theology, says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
I recently watched “The Greatest Showman” for a school assignment. If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, it’s a musical encouraging viewers to be themselves. One of the songs in the movie is called “This is me.” It strives to celebrate the differences between human beings. In other words, the song shouts, “Be yourself!”
Today, I’m writing about identity. But I’m doing so from a biblical perspective.
In my home, there’s a quote on the wall. It reads, “In a world where you can be anything, be yourself.” It’s a cute cliché, but I forget it’s there. Actually, I forget the words. I don’t know about you, but I struggle to be comfortable in my own skin.
Identity. It’s a touchy subject. Who or what defines you? Modern culture tends to equate identity with popularity. In other words, our level of acceptance determines our importance.
Don’t believe me? Look at a teenager’s social media account. A collection of so many highlight reels, longing for acceptance. I know because I often find myself there.