"Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."
~ Psalm 100: 3-5
Years ago I began telling people younger than myself to "Remember who you are, and WHOSE you are!" We often talk about peer pressure and being cautious about being around people who seem to have their own issues. As a parent, and having had some world experiences, you generally get an idea about people from having had experiences with people who seem to be like others.
Some might say that is being judgmental, but as a parent, that is also part of your responsibility to ensure that your children and other children are kept from such influences and situations.
The same goes for adults.
It can be very disheartening to believe one thing about someone only to discover the person is nothing like what you thought.
What's even harder is when you have become a victim of someone due to the poor choices of someone else, or has believed something that has been said about them.
It's a known fact that if you tell someone that they are beautiful often, they will begin to believe it to be true. The same can be said about saying something awful about someone else.
I can remember telling a young man, "Who told you that you were stupid, and why did you buy into it?"
The young man was struggling to be truly who he was because he had grown up in a house where he was often told that he was "stupid" and "wouldn't amount to anything."
Every time that he had an issue with a job, or a project, and even a relationship, he seemed to hear that voice and would totally destroy the opportunity or relationship.
"Remember who you are," is good advice, but to know ourselves doesn't mean we should over-think the situation.
At certain critical times in our lives it might be helpful to explore in some detail the events that led us to our crisis, but we make a mistake when we think that we can ever completely understand ourselves and explain the full meaning of our lives to others.
Seeking to "Be you" involves finding ways to ensure that we truly know "Who you are" while being in relationship with God. Seeking silence, a sense of solitude, while spending time in prayer, are ways that we can understand all of this better.
We are definitely complex, but remember, at the center of each of us is a sacredness instilled as part of God's amazing creation. We must also not forget that within there is sacredness where God dwells. We remain the place where God dwells at all times, and it is a place where real joy and praise exists always.
"Remember who you are and WHOSE you are!"
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, when I struggle to know myself better, help me to start with YOU and the sacred existence You hold in my life always. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.