Guiding Identity in a Christ-centered Environment

How would you like to work with a ruler whose measurements changed every day? One day a foot is 12 inches, the next day a foot is 7. How could you ever get anything done without a fixed standard? Enter the world of the high school/college student hose trying to define herself by looking at other people. Humans are not fixed creations. We are changing, growing, becoming. I am not the same exact person I was 10 years ago and neither are you.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside childish ways. Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
— 1 Cor. 13:11-12

These are years of intense identity crisis. Students ask, “Who am I?” as separate from my parents and family. “What is important to me and why am I here?” as opposed to what others have set as goals for me when I was young. God’s word addresses this internal dilemma head-on.

Part of figuring out who we are is the challenge of understanding how others see us. Never is this more intense than in our teen years which is why conformity is such a big deal. We want to be our own person that looks exactly like everyone else! The problem is, all our peers are doing the same thing and asking the same questions. Where or what is our standard? Is there a model that is unchangeable and certain?

There is great comfort in knowing that Someone knows me completely, totally, from before I took my first breath until the day I draw my last. He is aware of every thought before I am conscious of it myself. He sees me as no one else ever will, numbers the very hairs on my head, loves me completely. Secure in this love, our students can embark on a path to self-discovery. They can set aside childish speech, thoughts, and actions and model ourselves after Him--the one who cannot change. We can rest in all the things we cannot know--even about ourselves--confident that one day the fog will lift and we will see ourselves as we really are and see our God face to face.  Until that day, there is rest for weary students who feel they ought to have all the answers to questions people ask about their futures. There is rest for the parents who feel like they need to make sure their child has a concrete, clear path ahead. We know in PART. Rest in Him who holds all the pieces of all the puzzles that are our lives.

Dawn SynstelienComment