By Mandy Nevarez
In today’s culture there seems to be a prevalent crisis of identity. It is more than just personal preference, but rather a lack of understanding of self. There has been a systematic breakdown over the last several decades targeted toward the moral absolutes that are found in scripture. The lie has been sold as having the freedom to live as you like, without consequences. Instead of bringing true enlightenment, or freedom, it has left our culture and current generation in confusion and uncertainty. We now live in a time where laws are being made to enforce this idea of nonconformity and its labeled progression. Instead this leads to the confusion of an individual’s identity, and mistrust, or disbelief of the God who created them.
Our society as a whole, locally in the U.S., as well as globally has suffered under the delusion that choice is more important than moral absolutes, and that feelings now prevail over facts, even when there is empirical evidence to prove otherwise. The leading cause of death worldwide is now abortion. Suicide rates as the 10th leading cause. Sex trafficking and prostitution are estimated to impact over 40 million victims. Johns Hopkins University states that mental health disorders are some of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Finally, the American Society for Positive Care of Children (SPCC) reports that over 7.5 million children in the US are abused, and that an estimated 5 children die every day to that abuse. These statistics are directly related to personal choices, or the result of them, and this is not just happening in other countries, but is happening right now in our communities and our neighborhoods.
At the root of these issues are sin and the desire to live for the pleasure of self. As a believer, I know I must confess my sins to God who loves me, and created me in His image, and with a purpose. I know that I find my identity in Him, and in who He says I am. The stability of God’s law and his plan protect my life from the destruction that sin can bring, and that can be seen in society today.
As I was on my way home from work one day, I stopped at the store to grab something for dinner. There was a woman out front pushing a cart, and when she looked up at me, I recognized her as one of the ladies I minister to in the jail. She looked at me and then hung her head. As I approached her, she apologetically said to me, “I hate that you have seen me this way, I am a cart lady.” She said it over and over again. I walked closer to her, and looked into her eyes. I told her, “In this life we are identified in many ways, and most people do not know who they really are. I want you to know God does not see you the way the world does; he does not see you as a cart lady.” I knew she had a faith in God, we had discussed it many times before when she was incarcerated. I looked right at her again, and told her, “You are not a cart lady, you are a child of God, and he loves you.” She began to weep, and looked back at me with gratitude in her eyes. She nodded in agreement with me and began to lift her head a little higher. I know the Lord touched her. I grabbed and hugged her tight, and told her I loved her.
Even as a Christian our identity can come under fire, because the devil does not want us to know who we are, or whose we are. We were created in the image of God, and with divine purpose. There is true freedom as a child of God, and it is offered to whomsoever will believe and receive what Christ did on the cross. Our identity is found in Jesus and it is a safe place to dwell. It’s never too late to turn to him, no matter what our life looks like, or what we have done. 1 John 3:1-2 (NIV) says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that they do not know him.”
Mandy Nevarez is one of the pastors at New Life Assembly of God. Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.