I’m a little late with my Throw It Out There Thursday. Remember that Thursday is the day when anything, any idea, any belief is open for debate, satire or criticism (or all 3). Better late than never; unless it’s your week to lead the small group or open the store. And this Thursday it’s about finding out and knowing who you are. I see these ads on socially irrelevant media sights like Facebook and Twitter. And I saw them first on the Brainless Screen (a.k.a. T.V.).
Right now I’m thinking about all those TV ads of people who are basing their identity as a person based on their DNA results. One person said she once identified herself as Hispanic, but now marks “Other”; all because of what that company told her about herself. Another person said she found out she was part Native American (no, it wasn’t that presidential candidate who shall remain nameless, but you know which one). Now she’s all excited about exploring and learning more now that she is Native American.
It appears that so many who were either confused, or felt like they had no identity, or didn’t like their identity are turning to this magical DNA to define who they are. A few are turning to their DNA to find out why they are the way they are. And suddenly, an unknown heritage becomes THEIR heritage–and their identity. Sounds innocuous and unobjectionable enough, doesn’t it? So why does it appear this morning in my crosshairs?
Well, it’s because people are looking for their true identity in the wrong places. Yes, genealogy is both interesting and important, It’s also fun–especially when you find an ancient family member that is famous. Not so much fun when that relative is infamous. I must confess to you that there are some people I see and hear and I think to myself, “You need to refresh and upgrade your DNA pool.”
But a person’s Identity, their True Self is never fully revealed in chromosomes or an ancestry tree. We are living in a culture where people are longing for their True Identity because they somehow know there is more to life than what they experience day in and day out. Know what? They’re right! There is more to life–but you have to know where to look; and HOW to look. The information you are looking for won’t be found in your DNA, and it won’t be found in the archives of some Temple in Salt Lake City. 23 and Me haven’t figured it out yet and the Latter-Day Saints records don’t go back that far.
I’ll give you a Hint and a Clue where to look for your True Identity. The Hint comes from a book filled with a variety of heresy and truth. Listen to Ecclesiastes 3:11—“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.” There is in every human heart that seed that cries out to grow. It realizes there is more to life than what we see–even more than what we want. Nothing in this realm will ever give us our True Identity. And by the confession of Solomon’s wisdom, as human beings tainted and impacted by The Fall, we just can see it–without the right perspective.
The Clue is revealed by someone who has been characterized through the ages as one being reluctant. Read carefully what this very reluctant person revealed in Jeremiah 1:5—“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” The Clue is this: We are created by God for purposes bigger than this world—purposes that carry eternal significance. You may not be called to be a prophet like Jeremiah—but you ARE called to a task that HE has called you to—and equipped you to do with your life.
Relatives and deoxyribonucleic acid can never tell the whole story. They tell us about history, but not the future. And remember what Solomon said about the future—“He has planted eternity in the human heart.” When God formed us in the Garden of Eden, He made us in His Image. Adam came from the dirt and Eve from his rib—but God’s Image was in both.
And why? Not because God has an ego problem; but because God knew what would happen with Adam and Eve. He knew they would believe the lie and want to become their own god. And God was determined to reclaim and take back what Satan stole away. And He chose His Warriors to reclaim His Kingdom. First, it was His Son, Jesus. Second, it was the Hosts of Heaven’s Armies. Third, He would reclaim His rightful Kingdom through His Image Bearers.
God wants to restore you to the life HE created for you, before the Fall. A life that is pure, holy and filled with His Purposes. But you will never find this from you family genealogy and humanity doesn’t and will never have the technology to discover this higher purpose. Remember what Solomon said: “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.”
The only way we can find our True Identity is to surrender everything to Jesus. All our wants and wishes. All of our desires and feelings. And most of all, surrender all sense that our life has purpose outside of being unconditionally committed to what God has designed our life to become, and to be absolutely involved with what God has been involved in—the redemption and restoration of HIS Kingdom.