“Hi. I’m not really me. Who aren’t you?”
This could be the tagline of the culture our generation has inherited in America. Welcome behind the scenes to our living reality show.
I’ve heard it said – and I’ve said it myself – that this generation is one that values authenticity above almost anything else. We are so sick and tired of the artificial sales pitch and the slimy presentation, that we’re desperate for the real thing … right?
Right, I think. But at the same time, our peers (lest I say you and I) are suffering from a very real case of schizophrenia. We care enough to even demand authenticity from others, and yet, we manipulate our environment and ourselves more than any previous generation. We are the most insecure people that may have ever lived, and we are groping for security where it cannot be found – in culture.
Although this truth preaches to itself, I am not making a statement. I am asking a question: Who are you? I’m serious. Who the heck are you?
If I sat down and asked you that question face-to-face would you answer me with religious jargon? How with about cultural lingo? Would you tell me about your great parents or your crappy upbringing? A number of my friends start by telling me what they’ve accomplished and about their jobs. None of those things are wrong, but none of them are enough.
I know many Christians who have been driven by such staggering insecurity that they enhanced their breast size. I know many contemporary trendsetters who have the character depth of a Petri dish. I know people from incredible families that have been plagued by sexual compulsion. I know individuals that have come from broken homes and abuse that still blame others for every misfortune – refusing to take personal responsibility on one hand, and cursing themselves as failures on the other.
We are living with and among people that are very confused, anxious, and insecure. We have lived our whole lives with our culture telling us who and how to be. Our hearts cry out for authenticity, but our mind tells us that if we buy, dye, trim, rub, nip, tuck, or liposuck, we stand a better chance of finding authentic affection from others. We’ll be accepted if we improve “just this” thing.
At what point in the pursuit of becoming who we want to be, do we stop being who we are?
I believe in a Creator God. That makes me a created being. If He’s God and I’m His creation, things immediately stop being up to me because they never were.
But we are so confused in this country about who God is – that’s ultimately why we don’t know who we are. Am I God? Who’s been calling the shots in your life today? Is culture God? Who are you appealing to? Are they God? Who are you trying to please?
We can’t talk about the affects of culture on our personal lives without talking about rampant insecurity. We can’t talk about insecurity without talking about true identity. We can’t talk about true identity without talking about a Creative God … the God who created you.
But who’s creating you today? Are you trying to reinvent yourself? Still haven’t found yourself? Our culture is constructed to keep us in the perpetual hunt, but we can stop now. There’s nowhere else to look.
Men, it’s not on the Internet. Women, it’s not in stores. No doctor has the prescription to insecurity. No psychic can tell you who you were created to be. In our culture of choices, choose you – stripped, scarred, bruised, and seemingly alone. That’s a formula for God’s transforming presence. In choosing you— the rough, raw, original you— you are choosing to live for God, the only truly Authentic One.
God has a plan for the culture His enemy has engineered: destruction. God has a plan for you: abundant life. Choose to live counter-culturally. Oddly enough, that’s our hope of true relevance. The people God has used to dramatically impact their cultures have been people who have lived in strict contrast to its corruption. Not as rebels, but in reverence to God.
We are in this world, but not of it. We relate to it and we impact it and we aim to change it; but we are not at home here. Deciding to live counter-culturally with reverence for God is the first step toward being confident in whom He’s created you to be.