I've been working on our upcoming youth retreat weekend, covering the subject of identity - Who am I in Christ? As with many things that pastors talk about, it is as relevant (or more) to me right now than perhaps the people I'm teaching.
In the past week I had a great discussion with a friend at seminary who used to be a youth pastor and is now a teaching minister in Toledo. I shared with him how much rejection from the teens hurts me, how I struggle when some leaders are more popular or more accepted by the teens than I am, and how I'm always trying to make everyone happy all the time. Obviously, I wasn't blind to how off-base this is, but I'm not going to deny those feelings aren't present.
My friend did a great job reminding me that no matter who we are or what position we hold, when we're saved our identities are made secure in Christ. I guess I'm trying to teach something I haven't quite learned myself, but that's how it goes sometimes, eh?
Colossians 2:9-10 has a little something to say on the subject: "For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority."
We are made "complete" when we team up with Christ. Not partial, not mostly, not fragmented - our identity comes to a complete head when we see ourselves the way Christ sees us. Yeah, I'm not going to be the most popular guy, even in my own youth group. It's not, and never should be, a cult of personality. If they're there to be with me instead of being with God, something's not quite right yet.
My prayer for today is that I will learn to realize and accept this fact in my life, for Christ to overcome my insecurities and establish his own supreme lock over my life.