Recently I read a book called “All the Bright Places” (If you haven’t read it, you should) which is about a boy called Theodore Finch who has bipolar disorder. His whole life he has been tagged with various labels, such as; weird, mysterious, suicidal. Eventually he begins to believe that these labels are true.
This got me thinking about the labels we give ourselves and each other every single day. We are labelled by our achievements, by what we do, what we say, what we wear, what others think of us and so many other things, the list goes on and on. But do these things really define who we are.
It is so easy to get hung up on what we are going to achieve in life, what grades we will get, what career we will do and we are constantly striving for more. The same goes for what others think of us, if we let this define us we constantly are trying to please other people by being their versions of us, instead of who we really are. It can also be easy to think that the things we have done in the past define us, whether they are good or bad.
The thing is, those things I listed above are all just labels surrounding our true identity, they don’t show who we really are. The only way we can see our true identity is through Christ. He doesn’t tell us that we are defined by what we have done, he tells us we are a new creation: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”(2 Corinthians 5:17). He tells us we are His children who he loves and cherishes- “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1). We are not defined by our sins as our father tells us we are chosen “to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4) Our future career plans are not our identity as “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for” (Ephesians 1:11)
So although, we are given many labels here on earth, we know these don’t define us. Our true identity is in Christ alone.