One of my commenters shared this on my last blog post “What’s Your Orientation”:
“We are so much more than we think. And what we are is pretty scary and wonderful, dangerous and amazing . . . just like Him (Jesus).”
What a profound statement about identity—dangerous and amazing. “Who am I?” is one of those life questions all of us at one time or another wrestle with. We might identify ourselves by race, gender, religion, political views, occupation, and so on. “Who am I?” is most often accompanied by “What is my purpose?” and “Who is God in relationship to me?” These three questions can provide meaning and purpose in this life.
Let’s start with with basic definition of identity. Cambridge Dictionary and Dictionary.com imply that identity has to do with character, qualities, and beliefs that distinguish or identify a person as different than another person.
For LGBT and same-sex attracted people, this question is most often linked to one’s attractions and desires. Who they perceive themselves to be is most often associated with being one’s authentic self. For the majority of my adult life, I believed that one’s sexuality was the defining factor of identity. As I have resolved my faith and sexuality I have come to understand that my authentic self was very limited and one dimensional.
Hear me out on this one, friends: living from a place of profound authenticity involves being rooted in your deepest beliefs, values and truth, and living a life that is a true reflection of them. It is about being true to yourself through your thoughts, words and actions.
Dr. Phil says this: “There is another level of existence that is the real, true, genuine substance of who you are. The authentic self (who you were created to be) is the you that can be found at your absolute core. It is the part of you not defined by your job, function or role. It is the composite of all your skills, talents and wisdom. It is all of the things that are uniquely yours and need expression, rather than what you believe you are supposed to be and do.” Dare I say, our true self is not linked to our attractions, desires and sexuality.
I believe our “true self” is linked to God and who He has created us to be. I also believe that gender, sexuality and desires are good gifts from Him. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT), “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” God designed us foremost to live in intimate and ongoing with Him and then to live in healthy ongoing healthy relationship with others.
Today I find my primary identity as a child of God who seeks to know Him and honor Him in every aspect of my life. I understand that God wants only the best for my life, and that my relationship with Him takes priority over my sexuality, attractions, and desires.
Some of my readers will say I am living in denial and you would be right. Let me close this post out once again by challenging you to consider Jesus’ call to all who follow Him:
“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice (Self-Denial) is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for? Mark 8:34-37 (Message) (emphasis mine)
Is embracing your “authentic self” worth losing your “true self”? Will you discover the amazing person God intended you to be?
Your comments and thoughts are welcome.
Thanks for following my journey,