What memories flood your mind when you think of high school? Who do you hang out with today? Did you ever sacrifice your beliefs to fit in with the crowd? Do you have people who lift you up rather than tear you down?
Who are your people?
All of these questions convict me in so many different ways. Your age may affect the answer, but no matter your age, you and I are striving to figure out where we belong.
A Subtle Shift
My pondering began last week while out on a walk.
There were a few people walking the same pathway, but I kept to my side of the path in order to keep my distance. The overarching theme that played through my mind repeatedly was “who are your people”?
Thoughts like these fill my mind during these uncertain times as I miss some of my people that I have not seen in months. Texting is a gift and snail mail is a sweet surprise, but nothing will replace in-real-life for me.
Getting lost in my own thoughts is like free-falling. It’s not always pretty and as I began the process of wondering who my people are, I found that I needed to go back to junior high and move forward from there. Where did I belong and what framed my belief system as I uncovered the answer to these questions?
A subtle shift from knowing without a doubt where I belonged turned to an uncertainty that was unsettling.
Let’s take a quick look at how we determine our people groups over the years. I’m hoping this leads to a better understanding of recognizing where we belong and answering the question “who are your people?”.
Choosing Popular to Fit In
I spent years trying to squeeze my way into the “popular” group at school. It began in junior high and continued through high school. The fact of the matter, though, was that I was never destined to join the ranks of those who seemed to always have it all together. Can anyone relate?
It was not for lack of trying and not because my personality was weird, but more of God’s way of allowing me to develop into the creative woman He always destined me to be. I am able to say this with clarity in this stage of my life because I went through a lot of angst and heartache to get to the place I now call home.
Jesus understands the desire for people to present themselves in a way that exudes power and presence. Think of the Pharisees or when James and John asked to sit at the right and left hands of the Father (Mark 10:35-45).
There are days I try to do the same thing at the expense of who I really am. It’s taken me a lot of years to understand where and with whom I belong.
Lisa Whittle, in her book Jesus Over Everything, writes about outside influences in her chapter called “Steady Over Hype.” It’s the idea of letting others drive how we act, what we say, or even the things we buy (think of the power of the Internet). Lisa says it like this:
Hype is more than a bad idea–it is a dangerous idea for two great reasons, if none else:
1. Its takeover influence leads us to give up ownership of our thoughts, convictions, and free will.
2. Its flash-and-bang appeal diminishes the importance of a steady, enduring gospel.
I don’t know about you, but I need Jesus and the Gospel is my truth. Without either, I am lost and easily swayed.
So … who are your people?
I am many years past worrying about fitting in as a high schooler and even more years past junior high. I understand I needed to experience those ages and clique-ish groups to define who I am today. In those early years, I was devastated more often than uplifted, but when God entered the picture in a deeper way, my need for “popular” left and was replaced by a desire for belonging.
God is a God of belonging. The gift of belonging to God and not a particular people group changed my need to belong to the reward of being chosen. He will choose us every minute of every day. What does God say about this?
They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 2 Peter 2:19
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17
Because of who God says we are, we belong. There is nothing we need to do to prove ourselves to gain God’s love and grace. Remember God chose us first and calls us daughter or son.
We have found our people because God first found us and in turn we found Him.Because of who God says we are, we belong. We have found our people because God first found us. #newpost #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet
My people are the dreamers, the hope-fillers, the broken, the redeemed, the creatives, the intellectuals, and all those who God created to be in His image and likeness.
Who are your people and how did you find them?
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