Belonging through DNA.
Everybody wants to belong and feel important. Evidenced by the new DNA studies that are available, people (including myself) spit into a cup and send off samples so they can learn from where their ancestors really hailed. We want to know where we fit in – and how we got to here from there. [I’ve yet to find relatives I didn’t know I had, but it’s been interesting to learn that the German/Swiss blood in both Dave and myself also includes French blood in me and Norwegian in him.]
It’s all well and good to understand our genealogy and our history, but that doesn’t change our true identity. It doesn’t really change who we are, because who we are has nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, so many of us miss that point. We base our value and our beliefs on those who raised us or those who paved the way ahead of us. In doing this, we fail to recognize that we can’t piggyback on someone else’s faith. We need to have our own.
Belonging through our history
It’s well and good to read about our grandparents, to talk to uncles and aunts about their faith, or to spend time learning from them. There is always a wealth of wisdom in listening to those who have journeyed through life longer than we have, but their faith cannot become ours. We miss that, sometimes. We mosey along, following others or copying what they do because we figure they have it all together. We continue down a path because that’s the way it’s always been or the way we’ve always done it – and lose the concept that no one can birth our faith for us.
The journey and the faith must be our own. When we don’t make it our own, we find an emptiness inside, even though we might appear to be happy on the outside. Sometimes we don’t realize what we’re missing because we’ve never experienced the genuine reality of a faith that is our own. A substitute might seem ample if you’ve never enjoyed the real McCoy*.
So what if our grandfather was a bishop in the church? So what if he was a renowned minister of the Gospel? That doesn’t save us – or birth us a relationship in Christ.
Belonging through identity
We can spend our years finding our identity in what others think about us, what our occupation is, or the things we’ve accomplished. Or, we can reckon with the fact that the ground is level at the cross of Christ. Nothing we do, no place we have been, no matter if we claim A, AB, or O blood, and no matter whether it’s positive or negative blood, the ground at the cross is still level.
There’s only way to find completeness and fulfillment in life – and that is through a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. It has to be genuine, and it has to be our own. We can’t cash in on the faith of our parents, grandparents, or a spiritual mentor. We can’t cash in on the church to which we belong or the things we’ve done in the community. It matters not our education, social, economic standing, or things we have attained.
The only way to find true identity – the kind that makes one not need to compare oneself with others – is through our worth in Jesus Christ. It matters not what others think of our successes or failures. No matter our DNA or whether or not others know our name, we have not lost our identity if we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Don’t allow the striving for status, education, occupation, promotion, or notoriety thwart the most important relationship one can ever attain. Develop a faith that is personal, real, and authentic. That’s how to find identity. It’s how to find power that no one can take from you. Each one of us needs to come to that level ground at the cross. There our heritage, background, past failures or accomplishments are void. At the cross, we find our identity in who we truly are in Jesus Christ. We know this when we experience an authentic relationship with Him that is based on Who He is and not our DNA, what we’ve accomplished, or our ancestors.
*The expression has also been associated with Elijah McCoy‘s oil-drip cup invention (patented in 1872). One theory is that railroad engineers looking to avoid inferior copies would request it by name, inquiring if a locomotive was fitted with ‘the real McCoy system”.