I could write about a million identities we embrace to hide the fact that, deep down, we know we are incomplete. We long to be the student with the 4.0, the athlete on the cover of every magazine, the graduate with 1,000 job offers, and the Christian that never makes a mistake. But the more we dive into an identity, the more we realize that the pursuit of finding the perfect purpose of our life is nothing more than fantasy.
When we invest all we are in another person, willingly changing what binds our identity in hopes of obtaining the love we so desperately seek, only to be left bankrupt, we find ourselves wondering what is left that makes us whole. We often misconstrue monetary wealth as validation that we have found an identity that properly suits who we are. Yet when we lose that money, we often abandon that identity to find something to provide some sort of affirmation that we are not a failure.
The hardest loss of validation is when love ceases to exist. The more things we change to find love, the more our subconscious realizes that our current state is unlovable. However, should love never cease, then the subconscious self-hatred will never rear its angry head. Nevertheless, the love of another human is rooted in imperfection. It will fail. It will judge. And it will be rooted in self-righteous judgment that knows no matter who we love, he or she will never be perfect.
When love ceases, we often realize that we forfeited who we are in pursuit of something that was not sustainable. Then we are left scrambling to find some sense of validation that who we are is lovable. When we change to be loved by another person, our redesign will be loved by only one person. But when we focus on becoming who God designed us to be, then we can change to be loved for eternity.
As I have pondered the end of this series, I realized I could write about a plethora of things I could pursue that will never fulfill my heart. The only thing that really gives my life purpose is the call to serve God's Kingdom. But I do that so imperfectly. Many of you reading know what a terrible person I can be and have seen many of my mistakes. You have every right to verify that I am the furthest thing from a perfect Christian in the comments section. And I would have no retort to your justified shaming.
So as I pondered who I am, I figured I would at least be honest. I love sports, but I am not an athlete. I need to work, but I am not an employee. I long for a wife, but I make an imperfect spouse. I want to be faithful, but must be faithful while single. And I am most certainly not a hero. To be honest, I am not even a Christian, at least in the most general sense of the word. So, who am I?
I am a fraud. Imperfect. Ashamed. Forgiven. Hopeful. Baptized. Sinner. Broken. Foolish. Caring. Loving. Hated. Despised. Vulnerable. Criticized. Deserving. And ready.
If you are with me, knowing behind closed doors you are different than what the world sees, fearing that you will be found out, then get ready. This next series will be the most open, honest, vulnerable, and community-driven series I have ever attempted. It will be focused on the broken, sinful, gutwrenching shame believers endure every day. It will be the furthest thing from a humble brag, as we embrace the fact that we are frauds in every sense of the word. We are pursuing the resurrection through the worst imperfection. If you ponder your worth and fear that people will find out the truth, then this series will be for you.
I am imperfect. I am a sinner. I lust. I lie. I cheat. I steal. I hate.
Who am I?
A fraud. And thank God for that truth.