“We all wanna be somebody,
We just need a taste of who we are.”
—Thousand Foot Krutch
In one of my old high school yearbooks, there was a special section dedicated to the popular social groups many kids fell into during those days.
It included photos of some students who were popular examples of each group, and discussed how you could become identified as being a part of each group.
The first social group was the “jock” group.
To be a part of this group, you had to be athletic, be on a sports team, and you could never be seen in public without wearing your letterman jacket.
The second group was the “geek” group.
These students were into video games, science fiction novels and were usually at the top of the class in grades.
The next group was the “skate rat” group.
The skate rats were big into skateboarding or inline skating, listened to punk rock or alternative rock music, wore baggy pants and sometimes dyed their hair purple or green or yellow.
The final group mentioned was the “outdoorsman” group.
These kids only wore clothes from the L.L. Bean catalog and were never caught without their hiking boots and backpack.
And while this section of the yearbook wasn’t to be taken too seriously, it was a pretty accurate depiction of how students tried to fit in back in those days.
If you wanted to be considered “cool” or “popular,” you needed that identity of a jock, geek, skate rat or outdoorsman.
I, myself, always tried to identify with the jocks. But unfortunately I was never athletic nor on a team nor did I own a letterman jacket.
I did wear my replica Shaquille O’Neal jersey with pride though.
But I certainly was not alone in my quest for that perfect identity as a child. However, there really is no such thing as a perfect identity.
If you always try to be someone that others will like, you’ll end up not having peace in your life.
We can try to have the highest grades and be the best at school. We can try to be the best at sports.
But being smart and good at sports doesn’t define who we are. We have to realize that others cannot create our identity.
God has already told us who we are. He says that no matter how smart we are, how weak or strong we are, how athletic we are, or how much people like us, we are loved by Him and matter so much to Him.
1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
It can be tempting to let what others say about us define who we believe we are. But that’s not where our identity comes from. You are not what others say and think you are; you are what God says and thinks you are.
People around us think who we are depends on how we look and whether we’re cool or not. But God looks at our hearts, and we’ll only have peace when we believe who God says we are: His precious creations who He loves.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com. You can also visit his blog at hallthingsconsidered.blogspot.com