Thursday, June 11, 2009

What Makes You You?

I’ve spent a lot of time on Facebook recently, reconnecting with old friends. We’ve all changed since we knew each other offline. We’ve grown up, married, had children, changed careers. But the essential cores of my old friends remain the same. I might not recognize them if I saw them on the street, but I still know them. In some cases, I can predict old friends’ comments on status updates, even if I haven’t seen those friends in person for more than a decade. In many cases, I am certain that if miles didn’t separate us, we would be able to get together for dinner and feel as if we had not been apart for more than three days.

In conjunction with our pastor’s two-part sermon on being new in Christ, these experiences make me wonder what it is that makes us who we are. Genes and environment, yes, but it’s something more than that. A person who becomes new in Christ changes his or her actions and way of thinking, but close friends would still recognize that person as the one they know and love. Fred might “change completely” when he becomes a believer (or even meets a new girl), but he’s still essentially Fred and not Bob or Jerry.

As we become more like Christ, how much of us has to change before we’re unrecognizable? And does that ever happen? How much of me will always be me, even when I’m made perfect in the next life?

I have more questions than answers here, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

3 comments:

  1. We're each created in God's image, but are also unique. I think as we become more like Christ, though we are dying to self, the unique characteristics that He gave to us are actually enhanced, so we are more like ourselves, more like He designed us to be. In a way, I guess, I think we become even more recognizable as our inner potential is realized. I'm thinking about that stereotypical gruff old man who has such a tender heart inside that rough exterior. We can catch glimpses of it, and have a feeling it's there, and as the rough, hard exterior fades away, we see who we know him to be more clearly all the time. The gruffness isn't who he is, just as the things that we change aren't who we are. I don't know. I could be completely off-base, but it's fun to think about!

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  2. As a result of the same sermon(!), I have been changed yet again! When Christ entered my heart at age 17, I did become a new creature, both internally and externally. But I think that some of that change was a deliberate change by me of my actions and my "self." As always, I probably thought that I had to help God along! Now I understand that GOD wanted me as I was and HE has been doing the changing all along according to HIS plan. He didn't want me to change to fit my idea of what a Christian should be. Of course, now I have been thinking about all of the heartache I could have avoided!

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  3. Glad you could come with us that Sunday -- it's cool to hear the insight it gave you. (Keep me updated.)

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Thanks for your comments! Agree or disagree, but please comment respectfully.