We are living at a time when everyone is searching for their ancestries. Commercials on television share the stories of many individuals who thought their origin begin with one nationality and later after DNA testing found that they were actually something else. My brother, Wes, is the historian in our family and he is very serious about this role. He has had his DNA tested and requested that my only living aunt (my mother’s sister) be tested as well; he is looking for accuracy. Before Wes declares our point of origin during the next family reunion, he is doing his due diligence. He is searching for truth!
There was a mini-series in 1977 called Roots. It was a hard movie for many to watch, no matter who your ancestors were. Yet, as difficult and controversial as this movie was for our nation, it was transformative for millions. For truth seekers this movie was not a divide, but a time of healing and reconciliation. Those who felt marginalized and disconnected, now walked with a sense of pride. Many walked away with a greater appreciation for the shared struggles and a renewed understanding for the journey of those who had gone before them.
So it is for people of faith. Our search for identity became more clear when we found Christ. While God continues to reveal Himself to us, we now walk in the confidence of knowing we were a part of God’s plan at creation and His thoughts concerning us are for good. God’s love for us is without measure, so much so that he sent us Jesus to reconcile us back to Him. Everything Christ endured was for our sake. He was constantly affirming our identity, our spiritual DNA. I am the vine, you are the branches; I came that you might have life; My sheep know my voice. The search is over; our identity is found in God.
Knowing who we are also brings a greater responsibility to always honor the one in whose image we were made:
Let our roots grow down in Him – Yes, we often celebrate with pride the knowledge of who our ancestors were and what they accomplished. Yes, be grateful for the legacy of faith that you may have received from a parent, aunt, uncle, neighbor, Sunday school teacher, and so on. However, never forget that, “It is in Him that we live and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
Let our lives be built on Him - Follow truth! If we proclaim to be Christians we must be Christlike! “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10: 27).
Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught - Live truth! Live your faith out loud! By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35).
And you will overflow with thankfulness - Share truth! When my life overflows it is because I have reached my capacity to contain my blessings. I must be a blessing. All that I have received from God was not for me alone...it was given to share with others. “By the grace of God I am what I am” (Corinthians 15:10).