IDENTITY CRISIS: GOOGLE WHAT IS MY NAME?


The world has come to a stage in life where we start asking Google what is my name? The right way to ask is what is my identity. Identity refers to a sense of who one is as a person and as a contributor to society. It is personal coherence evolving time, social requirement, altered change and identifying the gender and sexual identity. Some of us are struggling with half orange and half lemon question? 
While I was living in the Bahamas the church members use to call me with the title Pastor, I felt unworthy of such title. I felt I was not educated enough. I felt I was not pastoral enough, even though I have specialized master degree in pastoral care and counseling. While I was teaching in a college back home in India people called me Sir or Teacher. I felt the same spirit of unworthiness.  Then I realized my mission is to give up "who I am" and become the person God made me or want me to be. It was at the same point some one said to me that "God can't use a confessing Christian." Don't take me negatively. I mean when we keep confessing for the same old sins, we destroy our self-worth and feels inadequate.
Who am I? what is my mission? what is my purpose in life? what God thinks about me? What God wants me to achieve in life? who am I in Christ? I am sure we can't find the answers if we have the attitude that I am not good enough. I can't live up to what others expect. I don't have what it takes, I can't just do it all. Until we bring our ego within us or the shadow self or the inner me, we are not going to go far in life. Remember God's view of me is different from what I think of myself. God's perspective about us is visible in the Bible. We are His masterpiece, we are God's righteousness, We are God's purchased possession. The lord says to Gideon in the bible; you are a mighty warrior.
While I was in the seminary during my second or third year I don't exactly remember we had a retired teacher who wants all the students to write the answers while quoting the bible verses in King James Version.  I am not a fan of King James or any other particular translation, because I believe all the translations of the bible is limited. It is better to study in the original language. I wrote my exam which was around 6 pages I guess. My teacher gave me zero mark out of hundred. I lost my identity at that movement, but then I thought for a moment. It hit me hard at the bottom end. I told myself that I can always do better than this in the future. That perspective changed and helped me a lot in the rest of my life. God has given much more than we can think or imagine. When God gives some responsibilities, it is less of our power or identity but it is more about His presence.
Whereever I lived my identity was related with minority. While I grew-up I was a part of a religious minority in India. I was also a part of an Indian minority community while I lived in the Bahamas, one among the 300 or less Indians who lived in the Bahamas.  Now I am a minority Indian living in the US. On the other side, I am a human sapiens one out of 7 billion or more people in the world. I am part of the global Christian community which consists of billions of people in the world. I am part of the majority. When you are with God you are not a minority.      
Life can always be approached in two or more perspective. Just like the GPS gives us the satellite frame work in our journey it is better to seek God's perspective about our situations. Sometimes I often ask the question to myself at the cross road of decisions that am I taking my decisions in the light of eternity?  Am I spending this money in the light of eternity?
I had these watch word in my life which helped me with my identity crisis: Keep laughing, Keep longing and keep learning. There is no mountain a believing human being cannot conquer. Coming from an Indian village, I had many good role models for a while,  then I become my own competitor. I started to conquer myself, my limitations and my dreams. 

It is relevant to quote C. Joy Bell: “Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you. In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn't have the time to sit around and talk about you. What's important to me is not others' opinions of me, but what's important to me is my opinion of myself.”
Binu B. Peniel
2015 (C) binu.peniel@gmail.com

Binu Peniel

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