Your identity is one of the most fragile garments you wear every day. It is a piece of clothing attached to your soul that either stays close to you, or an item you take on and off trading it out for something new to try on. It will develop based on your surroundings, based on your beliefs, and based off the relationships you have with others. So much goes into the shaping and characterization that consists in a beating heart.
But what happens when we step outside…when we try on our identity for the world to see and they crush us with the frailness of our tender being? What happens when people see something that isn’t acceptable, isn’t normal, and isn’t like everybody else?
Truth is that fear sets in to the state of the unknown and we can’t affirm something we don’t know and certainly don’t understand. But this is the world we are in today, the social media shift that isn’t a new way of thinking, it is just a louder way to display our thoughts. We either “like” or “dislike”; “agree” or “disagree”; “say something” or “say nothing”. We have ‘this’ or ‘that’ buttons because we have a ‘this’ or ‘that’ way of thinking.
The cultural shift is not the way we are thinking it is the way we are displaying the way we think.
Gaining the cross-your-fingers, here-I-go, about-to-lay-it-all-out-there, maybe-somebody-in-this-world-will-agree-with-me, way of thinking and making a decision is nothing new in our society. Today, we just get to press the button faster than we did before we could plug into an outlet to share our life with our supposed friends.
Let’s take a pause.
Would you believe me if I told you there was more to life than being “liked”? Heck, am I going to believe myself when I re-read these words a few hours after I press “publish”?
There is more. And if we succumb to being guided by the direction of the decisions that will grant us the most “likes”, we are sure to lose the garments of who we really are as we take off the parts of ourselves we most believe in for the sacrifice of gaining the approval of looking like everyone else.
Your identity, friend, and the decisions you make, are more than a “like” button can ever agree with, and more than a momentary hand clap emoji applause can ever display. You may still get those things, but who you are isn’t defined by them.
When I think of the Life of Jesus, I wonder what the stories in the Bible would consist of if they boiled down to the stories where Jesus did what would get him the most “likes”, or when He made a decision that was in the best interest of developing the biggest fan base. Instead, we see a Man who made decisions FOR LOVE and WITH LOVE in mind. The button we pressed at the end to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” His decision was not even weighted on the pro/con list He scribbled in the sand before He made a decision.
The truth is that He lived a life that was “liked” by some but controversial and “disliked” by many. Who He was, was guided by Whose He was. And in a day where we can overconsume ourselves with the normality of basing our decisions off of being well-liked, what if we were true to who we are based off of an identity rooted in LOVE and not exemplified by whether or not we are LIKED.
This is what it means when we see signs that display LOVE WINS in bold letters, because at the end of the day who we are and our purpose in the world should be focused on how we’ve LOVED and how we displayed it and not how we were LIKED and how we strived to attain it.
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