Who are you? Gay, straight or bi? Sporty, creative or a gamer? Male, female or transgender? Liberal, progressive or conservative?
Whether we know it or not, we put ourselves into categories like these all the time. It’s who I am. It’s what defines me.
There are so many ways to express ourselves, and yet often we simply end up feeling confused about it all. We ask questions like: "How do I know who I’m supposed to be?" "Can I change who I am?" "What if people don’t like who I am?"
Think about it for a minute. If you had to sum up who you are in three words, what would they be? What are the top three things that define you as a person?
It’s harder than you think, isn’t it? We’re bombarded with so many messages to be this and be that. Celebs, billboards and magazines scream at us: "You can be anyone you want to be. Just be you. Love yourself for who you are." But what does that mean? We stay up late at night wondering if we even have a place in the world. What is it exactly that makes me, ‘me’?
But here’s the thing: we need to get to the issue behind the issue. Where do we get our identity from? And check this out...
What if I told you that the one who created the universe and everything in it has a close and personal concern for every person on this earth? God knows you intimately, and he loves you more than you can ever imagine.
What if I told you that God cares so much for you that he comes looking for you to bring you back home? He doesn’t wait for you to try and find him. He doesn’t grudgingly accept you because he must. He looks for you. He comes running for you. He celebrates when he finds you.
What if I told you that God gave up his very own Son for you? Not because you’re worthy or deserve it. Far from it. But because of his incredible love.
What if I told you that now you belong to God? You live for him. You serve him. This life is not your own. You were bought at a price.
Without Jesus, we’re left scratching around in the dark. Without Jesus, we go and play in muddy puddles trying to figure out who we are. Without Jesus, our identity is broken and completely lost.
Yet with Jesus, it’s clear. Our true identity is found in him. Not in our gender. Not in our social status. Not in our achievements. Not in our sexuality. Not in our culture. Not in anything else we can ever think of. In Jesus, we’re told who we are. We’re his loved, sought and bought people.
Did you think this message was just for young people? Have you heard it all before? Are you still left with those feelings of confusion and lack of self-worth? As youth and children's workers, parents and influencers of the next generation, do we know this? Do we really know it? If we don't, how can we tell our young people?
It's the issue of identity that we want to talk to young people about at Sorted 2017 for that very reason. We might not have it perfect ourselves, but we need the next generation to know this in the very marrow of their bones.
Sorted is a day conference for 14-18 year olds from all around the UK. We’d love for you to join us, coming together with over 1,000 young people to worship God through music, encourage each other through prayer, play some ridiculous games and look at the Bible to discover incredible truths
about our identity in Jesus from God’s word.
So, who are you? Join us for Sorted 2017 on Saturday 11 November, at Westminster Chapel in central London and find out.
For more information and to book your place click here.
While you are here, why not claim a free copy of Premier Youth and Children's Work.