Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lebron James and Identity

Check out the new Nike commercial with Lebron James.

Regardless of what you think of Lebron's authenticity in this, he's asking the same questions that many of the teens in your church and community are wrestling through. What should I do? Who should I be? Who or what defines me? Should I listen to my friends? Should I just disappear?

It's all comes back to the question of identity--who am I? In our individualistic culture, we tend to not form our identities in the context of community. Americans embrace the notion of, "I define myself. I will be who I want to be." The theme of be true to yourself is ubiquitous in our films, music, and other forms of media.

Yet from the beginning in Genesis 1 and 2, we were designed for community. Our identities were never meant to be shaped and formed in isolation. In a very real sense, we cannot define ourselves on our own. We need relationship--the connection with the other--in order to realize who we actually are. It's when my self rubs shoulders with other selves that I can begin forming who I am. The deepest and healthiest of identity formation happens when we rub shoulders with the Trinitarian self, when we are being defined by our relationship with God. Teens need Godly people to rub shoulders with as they try to find answers to the questions they're asking of themselves.

The questions Lebron is asking are the same questions teens are asking. How can you be present to help them seek the answers?

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