Identity is a vital aspect of our lives and is detrimental to us as young people.
We can be quick to identify with certain viral movements because of the colour of our skin, our gender or our political opinions, but to what extent?
The Lord Jesus Himself was conscious of the fact that though He was in this world, He wasn’t of it (John 8:23 “… I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world”). He constantly identified with His heavenly origin and defined Himself by it.
During late 2018, a video of minister went viral. In it, she was highlighting the importance of wearing the full armour of God and being girded in the truth of God’s Word, especially given the current day and age we live in.
However, her message received quite a wave of negative comments concerning the following statement she made within the sermon: “I do not describe myself as a black woman because that gives too much power to my blackness. I don’t want black, my race to be the describing adjective, the defining adjective of who I am as a woman,” she said. “I am not a black woman. I am a Christian woman who happens to be black.” (Source: Youtube)
Given the socio-political climate of the United States at the time, this statement was welcomed with quite some hostility by the black community and especially those who identify themselves as members of the Christian black community.
She later had to apologize on social media to the black community. On one of her posts, she explains: “Within the framework of the entire message I was giving at the time, my only intention was to make the point that no aspect of life should ever define the believer MORE than our relationship w/ Christ. I should have been more clear when I shared those unplanned sentiments a couple years ago.” (Source: Facebook)
I viewed the entire video, in context and thought necessary to address the topic.
Interestingly, she made a remarkable statement in the same video, following the first one that few emphasised on: ” … Cause it’s the job of your adjective to describe the noun of who you are and if there’s going to be an adjective describing me, it’s not going to be my race, it is going to be that I am a woman who believes every single thing that My God has declared to be true […] So you may be a black woman; a black man; a white woman; a white man, but that should not define you… So that if your race or your political group is going in a different direction than The Word of God, you don’t choose your blackness or your whiteness or whatever culture you are, you do not choose that … Or your political persuasion, over what it is that God’s Word declares to be true” (Source: Youtube).
Sometimes we can get carried away by our social and political engagements that we can forget that our life (our identity) is hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3 “… and your life is hid with Christ in God) and not in our gender, the colour of our skin, our opinion or any social or cultural attribute.
I am extremely proud to be among a generation of youths who are more and more concerned about and involved in the social and political aspects of our world, however, I do believe it’s crucial to keep Christ as our standard and measuring stick.
Maybe Christ doesn’t seem to be the trendiest hashtag on the internet or the coolest movement but it is The Name that has stood the test of time, that has been called upon in millions of households to save, heal, mend and restore.
The world may want to make us feel ashamed and be apologetic about our identification with Christ, yet it remains The Name to pledge allegiance to.
(All Scriptural references are taken from The Kings James Bible).