I have been fascinated with identity over the years and nearly finished a book on the subject 5 years ago. Specifically, I am interested in distinguishing between identities we choose and those that others choose for us.
Last Saturday, Dec. 31 I gained a new identity as a grandfather when Isabella Kay Smith was born. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I received a title on that day. My identity as a grandfather is one I gladly choose and which will require my love and energy. I will make time in my life to think about her, pray for her, spend time with her, and get to know her. This is what it will mean for me to choose and nurture my new identity as a grandpa.
I wonder if this applies to our identities as Christ followers. Are we simply assuming this identity because we grew up in a Christian home? My guess is that a Christian identity for many is a default identity. We did not choose it to be our own, but was chosen for us. And because we did not feel empowered to fully choose it for ourselves we simply defaulted to what we were given.
What would our lives be like in 2012 if we consciously made a choice to take on the identity of Christ follower each day? What if we embarked on a journey to wrestle with the questions of life and faith for ourselves? My sense is that our spiritual, emotional, and physical lives would be much enriched if we choose each day to invest ourselves into a relationship with God in Jesus Christ. And in the process the world will be transformed.
From a happy grandpa,