"Identity" - Frosh-hosted TFN
similar to Buzz belonging to Andy, we all belong to God and that is where our true worth lies.
In who, what, or where do we find our identity?
Throughout the course of our lives, identity can become an incredibly ambiguous abstraction with such complicated layers of meaning that it becomes difficult to distinguish oneself from all the various pretensions we forge and one’s true identity. However, this past Friday the Freshman hosted a special event addressing this important topic.
The night began with a lively skit detailing a fresh college student embarking into the world fully independent.
Who: The first scene depicted an adventurous young adult finally leaving for college. Many college students can relate to trying to find for themselves who they are after being defined all their life by their parents.
What: In other scenes, we saw how we often create an identity stemming from a relationship between partying and academics summarized with the motto “work hard, play hard”. This mindset, which can be extended to life after college, entails a lifestyle of putting in all of one’s effort to achieve something so that one can do whatever brings a feeling of contentment. Nevertheless, as we saw in the skit it is often the case that whatever we are achieving or recklessly doing to make us feel happy leaves us empty instead.
Where: Within different social groups we try to mold ourselves into a different person to belong. We saw this notion played out when one of the party people utterly changed into a church member praising God. In this way, it reminded us of how we change who we are depending on where we are and who we are with.
By and large, as the student struggled to find his identity in these facades he created he merely found himself lost in the end.
Does our identity align or direct us towards a purpose and meaning in life?
Josh gave a message inspired by Toy Story speaking about the Buzz Lightyear syndrome (wanting to be special and unique) and the Woody syndrome (playing a constant game of comparison). The former describes a mindset of defining ourselves by how well we perform in life and the latter by how well we are performing compared to others. In this manner, we find ourselves stuck in a tug of war of being defined and undefined because if we fix our identity in something temporary as our performance then when we don’t perform well who we are becomes nothing.
Therefore, it begs the question who, what, or where can we find a fulfilling and eternal identity? This is answered in how, similar to Buzz belonging to Andy, we all belong to God and that is where our true worth lies. It is where we can find our purpose because “for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
In another spectrum, how can we be assured of our identity in Christ if we are wretched sinners who constantly disobey him? God has already signified how much we are worth to him as Romans 5:8 states, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This elaborates that our identity and worth is signified through God sending down Jesus to die for us sinners so that we can be connected to him once again as his children.
Additionally, in a video, a few freshmen shared their personal testimonies regarding their journey in finding their identity as a child of God. As a freshman myself, I was quite encouraged from hearing my friends’ stories of how God worked in their lives in different ways and I’m very grateful for this whole experience because it was such a blessing to be given the opportunity to work with my peers and staff for the goal of serving God.