Look around. You can see it in our eyes when we smile and say we're "good" when you ask us how we're doing. You can see it in the way we spend our time, hours upon hours thinking about all the ways we don't measure up. You can see it in our striving, striving to be good at what we do, striving to be accepted, desperately striving to be approved of.
I believe that our generation is having an identity crisis.
Why is this?
We are all seeking to be loved.
A good mom. A smart student. A loving, selfless wife. An interior decorator. A chef. A blogger. Insert Identity Here.
All of these labels are good things, but when we let them define who we are to prove to the world that we're worthy of their love, they become a danger zone. When we don't measure up to those identities, we feel like failures, and then failure becomes our identity.
BUT WHAT ABOUT GRACE?
What about the grace that gives us access to God and gives us eternal life not based on our goodness, but on His unfailing love? What about the unconditional love that stopped at nothing to prove His love for us?
I believe there is a voice that echoes throughout Heaven and reaches down to Earth that says, without condemnation, "I see your faults, your mistakes, and the ways you don't measure up. You are completely known and still completely loved."
I truly believe that if we stopped letting our identity be defined by what we do or don't do and let our identity be defined by love, it would change everything about us. We would walk lighter. We would love people easier, even the ones who hurt us. We would stop trying to prove ourselves to everyone, because our worth has already been proven by God.
Look at Jesus. Jesus didn't find his identity in what He did - healing the sick, raising the dead, being a really good person...He did all of those things because He knew His identity as the Son of God. Jesus could love His enemies because He knew what God thought of Him, not because He hated himself. He could die on the cross because He knew God loved Him, not because God hated Him. Love was his motivation.
LESS STRIVING, MORE GRACE
Let's stop striving in the desperate pursuit to be found and labeled, and instead wear the identity of being known and loved. We may never be understood by this world. We may never be loved by this world. We may never be approved of by this world. And that's okay. Because the One Who created us knows and loves us unconditionally.