Saturday, August 16, 2008


In furthering a thought I had a few days ago on what it means to be a Christian, I have been pondering the more specific idea of identity. Not just identity in Christ, just identity in general.

We all have roles that we fill.  Some are inherent roles-son, daughter, brother, sister, etc. Others are roles that are chosen-mother, friend, musician, teacher, husband, etc.  We use these roles to describe ourselves to others in "about me" sections of internet profiles or to a person you might like to date or just befriend.  But those roles, while formational, don't make an identity, do they?

This idea is one I find myself at odds with.  This inner skirmish tends to sometimes produce thoughts like my previous post, where I find myself sort of emotionally numb.  I certainly have many roles that I fill.  Outside of them, though, I don't know my own identity.  

Often, it's easy to look to others to tell me who I am.  I find validation and approval and thus value in others views of me.  When I feel I don't have the approval of others it puts me in a funk and I get to feeling worthless-though not in the dramatic way that the term sounds...just that it makes me question worth, which then leads to identity.

When I strip away the roles and other's opinions, I find it scary to look at what is left.  This is more a thought exercise than something that can actually be done, as it's sort of a romantic notion to be able actually strip ones self of all their roles.  But once you begin to conceive of yourself in this way, you get to looking at the kind of person you are as opposed to what you do.





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