CLERGY CORNER: Who am I?

Posted on 25 June 2015 by LeslieM

There’s been a lot of recent news attention given to those in an apparent identity crisis.

Famed Olympian Bruce Jenner unveiled his transformation as Caitlyn on nationwide television.

Rachel Dolezal, a white woman in Spokane, WA, came under the glare of public scrutiny when it was revealed that she had been claiming to be a black woman. Her estranged parents were the ones who outed her for what they felt was a deception since there was no evidence of black heritage in the family tree.

None of this is really shocking in the context of contemporary society. We’ve known for years that there are men who want to be women, women who identify as men, blacks who want to be white, and now there are some whites who think that they are black. Surprising? Not really. Confusing? It doesn’t have to be.

The search for identity has prevailed upon human existence ever since mankind came into being. The Biblical worldview teaches that, in Genesis, God created man and woman giving them specific instructions that pertained to their identity and purpose in creation. It was the serpent, Satan, who posed the question that confused the first man and woman about who they were, and who they could really be (see Genesis, Chapter 3). Falling for the deception that they could be gods themselves, and make their own determinations about good and evil, they violated the one restriction of their Eden existence and plunged mankind into sin and rebellion against God.

The Old Testament portrays God as passionately pursuing mankind so they could reconnect with Him and discover their true identity.

He even established a nation through Abraham to distinguish the blessed life of submission and obedience to the Creator, from a dissatisfactory lifestyle of self-government and self-determination.

The challenge for those whom He called was whether to trust His way and forsake their own ideas, or to reject the notion of a God they could not see while charting their own paths in the visible realities of life.

Psychologists tell us that everyone longs for significance, and a sense of belonging and purpose in life. Our identities are an integral part of where we fit and how we function in the world. It is, therefore, important that we understand who we are and what we are to do, if we hope to find fulfillment in this life.

The New Testament portrays God as lovingly providing a remedy for man’s sin, and offering the opportunity to discover who each of us was created to be. It appears that what Satan suggested in the Garden was actually attainable, if one did it God’s way. John, Chapter 1, Verses 12 and 13, states, “But, as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

It is my prayer that Bruce/Caitlyn and Rachel find their true identity and purpose in a real relationship with God.

It is my prayer for all of those searching for meaning to their existence. The external preoccupation with one’s identity will never satisfy the internal quest for fulfillment.

Only God can fill that vacuum with His presence, His power and His purpose. Only the Creator can define His creation and declare its true intent.

How strange it seems, but also how wonderful it is to discover that in giving up ourselves to Him, we find out who we truly are.

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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