What I’m Learning by Andrea Plotner
I love hiking. Earlier this year I visited a friend stationed in Hawaii (!) who tries out a new trail every week. Go local!
But I currently live in Idaho and it’s super icy this winter so yesterday I got a 3 month pass to the indoor gym.
At 5:45 this morning I staggered bleary-eyed into the “hard-core” class and had a major moment of self-consciousness because there was clearly a dress code. Patterned leggings, layered yoga tops, meticulously messy bun…you get the picture.
I was wearing a Snoopy sweatshirt and (gulp) sweat pants (and my hair was just…messy…documented proof at the bottom of this post that will live in infamy on the internet forever 😉.
As I’ve been meditating on “identity” lately, this was a good chance to ask myself “Why do I care whether I fit in?” Trust me, this is growth. A few years ago, I would’ve just gotten the gear without stopping to ask myself why.
There can be growth and goodness and God in examining the “whys”.
What I’m Learning
Why do I care whether I fit in?
I care whether I fit in because I was created for community and friendship and relationship.
When I think back to God placing Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden, I see they were created for community with God and one another. Reading the Bible — the Old Testament and the New Testament– shows me God is a relational, not impersonal, God.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.–Romans 8:16
Reflecting on this verse, I see I’m created to be God’s child. There’s no better or closer kind of community than family. I am created to belong, and I belong to God and He loves me. Much as I love workout buddies, they can never, ever love me like God does.
So why the identity crisis at the gym?
It’s obvious Sherlock– a case of mistaken identity. I lost momentary sight of who I am and whose I am. God doesn’t care if I do or don’t wear a snoopy sweatshirt or layered yoga tops.
God sees me from the inside-out, and He calls me to leave my outside-in living behind.
How I’m Learning
- Purposeful gathering with friends. On Wednesday nights, I’m spending a lot of time thinking about “identity” as a group of friends and I have dinner together. We visit and discuss a book we’re reading together.
- Reading good books. Neil Anderson’s book, Victory Over Darkness: Realize the Power of Your Identity in Christ. I’m getting a lot out of it. You might too. Click here to learn more about this book.
Think About It
I once heard an analogy that as Christians we should be like boats – in the water (or world) but not of it. Are there any areas (like my gym moment) where you are taking in water?
Can you think of even one person’s opinion you’re tempted to hold in higher regard than God’s Word, the Bible? Talk to God about it…He cares!
Where are you tempted to live from the outside-in?
Pray About It
Dear God, thank you for making me your child by faith in Jesus Christ. Please help me know – deep down – that I am yours and help live from the inside-out. And if there are areas where I’m living outside-in and taking in water, please make me aware and help bail me out. Amen.
Besides wearing Snoopy sweatshirts & contemplating identity, Andrea Plotner coordinates Bible studies here at plantingroots.net.