True to form, 2015 has shown herself in a big way. Five days in and I’m witnessing both in my life and the lives of others opportunities for us to spend some time on our knees. While social media is in a frenzy of catchy phrases, 1980s worthy rhythmic statements, only one concept is resonating in my being. This shall not be a year for the faint of heart, and if it is your desire to not only survive, but thrive, you’d best know who you are and most importantly, whose you are.
Identity markers, often unfolded through the discipline of social psychology refer to one’s exploration of self, through a myriad of culturally derived conclusions, such as race, ethnicity, age, gender, marital status, geographic location, religion, sexual orientation, and the list goes on. Each of these markers individually and collectively guide our interactions and expressions in the world to which we live. Each one singularly can have significant impact upon how we navigate this thing called life.
Working in academia over the last 20+ years has provided many opportunities to explore who I am. Couple that with life in general, and on any given day, the factors of my Blackness, femaleness, baptist, Chicago Southside reared, single parent, product of a single parent home and the like comprise my core. However, none of that is more important to me than my identity in Christ. That marker allows me assurance to navigate the contours of my persona. It guides who I am and who I choose to be in the world. When as I wrote yesterday that as the salt of the earth I am feeling salty about a person, place or thing, my identity marker of being a disciple of Christ centers me, calms me, and covers me.
I want Christ to be glorified in my actions, but perhaps more importantly, my thoughts. For if my thoughts are governed by him, my actions have no choice but to act in submission. This new year makes way for a new mindset. One that is not contingent upon anyone else but Christ. If the person who you engage regularly with drama never changes, your identity marker as a believer creates space to rise above and keep it moving. Further, we are blessed not to be alone. Many others hold our identity markers and serve as living epistles of courage under fire.
I know who I am. I know whose I am. I know that I was fearfully and wonderfully made in his image; and you were too! His imprint is upon us. Our identity in him should deepen with every trial and tribulation, as well as with every blessing and benediction. We must hold fast to what was bestowed upon us as followers of Christ and not allow or enable anything that is contrary to compromise our identity in him. Thank God for allowing us to see another year, one full of promise and divinity. Let’s not get side tracked and act brand new. Time is out for an identity crisis. Know who you are. Know whose you are. Place no energy in being someone you are not. Place no energy in engaging tirelessly in explaining who you are. Place no energy in indulging someone else’s fantasy of who they are not. If a person, place or thing is negatively impacting your identity, move to a different neighborhood, be it, relationship, job, health, ministry, etc. Affirming your identity doesn’t require a new year. Be whom you were created to be in this earth, and be it like no one else. Five days down, three-hundred to go.