From the day we come out of the womb and into this world we begin a lifelong search of finding ourselves.
In our toddler years, we learn identity defining statements like “NO” “I can do it by myself” and “Why?”
Later in our adolescence we try out new styles, hairdos, and music. We find groups and “cliques” to fit into in effort to define ourselves and craft an identity that will tell us who we truly are.
As we grow older, we learn to define ourselves with more refined and important labels, like “black” “white” “man” “woman” “rich” “poor” etc…
We do all of this in effort to define the identity we were created looking for. We do it to find a place where we belong and to find a way to connect to the world around us.
But so often even with the best of intentions, these “labels” we place upon ourselves and others to feel connected, in reality bring more division than unity.
We need only to take a look around the world, or a scroll through Facebook to see that these identities, while perhaps given us a certain comfort, have also created animosity from those who don’t fall under our labels.
We see conservatives against liberals, white against black, men against women. And what started out as a basic human need for identity has turned into a world divided against itself, threatening to, as it always throughout history has, become a fight for which identity will win, leaving in its wake hate, violence, bitterness, division, and rage.
So what can we do? How can we connect and try to rectify the world around us when our identities and labels are so different?
It strikes me that while each of these “truths” and identities about us may be accurate, they aren’t the TRUEST things about us.
If you, like I, believe in a creator-- especially one that decided to create us all in His image, you suddenly find an identity about yourself that rises above all the usual worldly identifiers like race, sex, sexual orientation, social status, etc..
If we believe that we are created by a loving God-- suddenly we realize that we are ALL apart of this identity that says, no matter who you are, where you're from, what color you are, what gender you identify as, or how much money you have, you are first and foremost designed in the image of a loving Creator, as is everyone else in the world around you.
When we understand this universal truth about us all being created in God’s image, suddenly the less important identifiers that used to divide us disappear, and the greatest label we could ever wear connects us all.
So what identity will you allow to be the TRUEST about you? One that divides and separates you from others? Or the one that helps you realize we are all created in the image of the Divine?