Jackson Five Friday: Identity Issues 


Happy Friday!  It’s a particularly great day in the Jackson household.  First, Sam has an unexpected day off from school.  Sadly there is such widespread illness in Hamilton County that the public schools are closed. They announced this to students yesterday right before dismissal. Sam came running down the hill to meet me, more elated and stunned than Tom Brady was last Sunday night.

This means that Sam is in the backseat while Will drives the three of us to Knoxville. Dub is swimming this morning in the high school state meet for Tennessee.  This meet, today and tomorrow, closes out his freshman year of varsity swimming.  Since his amazing school and coaches allowed him to also play on the freshmen basketball team, which wrapped on Monday night, this meet marks the end of an intense few months. Balancing both sports and challenging classes have left me  awestruck.  We are pretty dang proud.

Yet I never want Dub to find his identity in his many gifts or accomplishments.  I pray that unlike some who spend a lifetime trying to “find themselves,” that Dub and his brothers will always know who they are.

It’s always a mistake to reduce a complex creature, made in the image of God to live for eternity to just a few traits. Yet people do this all the time. I’m a swimmer.  I’m a basketball player.  I’m an athlete. I’m a liberal. I’m a conservative. I’m a musician. I’m a poet. I’m a doctor. I’m gay. I’m straight. Even I’m an ENTJ or any other personality type. We are unique, nuanced and complex — no one’s identity can be summed up or limited by these terms.

On the other hand, three valid summations do spring to mind: (1) I’m an image-bearer of God, of the one true King; (2) I’m a sinner; and (3) Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, I’m forgiven.

Unlike the list above these truly inform who I am. May my sons know the primacy of these components when they contemplate who they are.  May they never fall into the trap that one little aspect of them, or even one amazing accomplishment defines them.

Thanking God this morning for my wonderful son, and praying that he will live life knowing his identity is not found on the basketball court nor in the pool, but in Jesus Christ.  As I looked through some resources about finding our identity in Christ, I came across this list compiled by MercyMe (love their music).  It’s worth printing and tucking in your Bible.  That’s what I just did.  I copied and pasted into Word and used 11 point font so that it would fit on just two pages.

It’s an amazing, extensive list, but maybe my two favorite verses are these:

Romans 8:17 —  “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.”

Hebrews 2:11 — “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.”

I’ve given God many, many reasons to be ashamed of me, but how incredible is it that He isn’t?  I am made holy.  I am a co-heir with Christ.  May I never get over how utterly amazing this is!  May my identity always rest in these truths.

Praying hard today again for the return of civil discourse in America and for my own sons to know who they are and whose they are!

With Love,


P.S. Click on the list and tell me which is your favorite verse and why.  I’d truly love to hear.

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