404 Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity

Today I’m excited to share a story from one of my favorites. I met Tracee on Twitter last year and I realized that we are kindred spirits. We’re both passionate about communication, relationships and dancing like nobody’s watching! She’s sharing her story about having an unchanging identity. I loved it and I hope you will too. Let ’em have it, T-Dawg!

The heart fascinates me. I love people. I love getting to know the story of another. I am a big fan of big crowds, and nights filled with intertwined conversations.

We are fast becoming a culture that craves relationships and community, but actually gives little time to develop either one. We are a culture that thrives on status. The success of being known is measured by how many followers we have on Twitter or Facebook. If people want to get to know us, we have links we can pass on to them.

Mistaken Identity

Even the course of questioning is changing rapidly when meeting someone face to face. Our culture has three basic questions we ask to figure out someone’s identity. We ask the questions of “What do you do? Where do you live? What school did you go to?” Now we have shifted into “Are you on Twitter? Do you have a blog? Can I find you on Facebook?

We need people to fit into a category or box of identity. How we answer these questions creates the façade of understanding someone else.

It seems like in the era of social media, there are so many places to read what people are “about.” Most people seem to have an “about me” page. Listed on this page are hobbies, movies, employment, education, and at least one sentence that describe the person. All these things we attribute as the identity of someone.

Our “about me” changes all the time. There are some things that stay consistent, (I will always love to sky dive and bungee jump), but the other stuff changes. My “about me” does not define who I am.

The truth about our identity is that it is never changing. Identity remains factual no matter what. My identity has been defined for me by the one who died for me.

Our identities in him are unchanging because he is unchanging.

In Christ, I am enough. If you or I were the only people on earth, Christ would still have died for us. I am his beloved. We are owned as his sons and daughters. I am unconditionally loved. I am saved. I am forgiven. He sees me as worth it. This never changes.

What if we began to see people through this lens of identity? What if we began to view ourselves under this definition of identity? Can you image how relationships would change?

Everyone is uniquely made and worth getting to know. Our identities never change. I desire for us to start understanding and seeing people the way he does. The world would be a very different place if we saw people as beloved, enough, and worth it.

In what ways can you start to get to know people past what they are “about?”

Tracee PersikoTracee is a speaker and writer with a master’s in Professional Counseling. She cares deeply about the heart and story of other people. When it comes to areas of passion, Tracee enjoys speaking on topics including: leadership development, cultivating character, second mile living, identity in Christ, and carrying the weight of your influence well. Her heart is all about empowering others to believe different and live different. She blogs at TraceePersiko.com and you can find her on Twitter here.

Comments

  1. Hallie Shaw says:

    “He sees me as worth it. I think listening is the key – not to just what they say – but how they say it and how they express themselves. Our identities are unchanging because they come from the One that never changes. I love how you put it.
    Hallie Shaw recently posted..Many Cures

  2. Ava Carson says:

    Great Post Tracee. I love seeing your face on here! Especially with younger kids.

  3. Tracee, I love posts that make me think, like this one.
    I think that one of the hardest questions to answer is “who are you?”, because we often see ourselves just like you said, based on the things we do.
    You just made it so much easier to answer the “who are you?” question, thank you for that.
    Cris Ferreira recently posted..Someone else paid the price

  4. This was a pretty profound thought. We want to classify people just to make things easier, but then we often rely on only those classifications. I know that finding my identity in Christ and Christ alone is a constant challenge. This post is pretty inspiring, thanks.
    Loren Pinilis recently posted..Why You Should Use a Ubiquitous Capture Device

  5. Tracee..I really see your heart for people, really truly knowing people, in this post. I think we could be friends. 🙂 {I also have an MA in Counseling}

    The difficulty is that relationships have to be built from the ground up. Sure there are some people who you just “click” with and all those identifiers don’t even matter. But, with most people, it starts with a simple commonality or affinity like alma mater, place of worship, etc. So often, people stop there. They don’t dig deeper because that requires vulnerability, a letting go of self, and putting the other person first. Truly listening and learning about another means putting aside self-interest and waiting for “my turn” to talk. It’s a very lost art in our current time, when everyone is vying to give their opinion, their advice, their words of wisdom. But, to take time to truly listen-that’s where you really get to know someone’s heart and share yours, too.
    Keri recently posted..Five Minute Friday: New

  6. Listening and asking deep, probing questions have helped me get past the facade to the real person. But it sometimes uncomfortable and takes a little more time. If done, though, it is so worthwhile.
    seekingpastor recently posted..Prophetic Thursday: Mary Lou Retton

  7. Well said, Tracie. I don’t really know what I could add to the discussion right now but I really liked the post and wanted to give you props for it.
    Jason recently posted..Day 229: Pondering Pastor Rick

  8. Some great thoughts. I love when you said this. “He sees me as worth it. And this never changes” His opinion of us or love for us is never conditional or based on how we might be feeling on a particular day. I love that we can depend on Him to a constant in our lives.
    eileen recently posted..The Land of Oogie

  9. Hi Tracee! Great article! I think listening is the key – not to just what they say – but how they say it and how they express themselves. Finding a “sweet spot” and focusing on that. I do this with my music students – but I have to be intentional and really be focused on them to do it.
    Cindy Holman recently posted..I’m Drinking ACV

    • so true Cindy! Great conversations can come out of listening. I love hearing people’s hearts. How does it work with your students? Cool life lesson for them to really listen to others as they are learning to listen to music!
      Tracee recently posted..Mistaken Identity

  10. Isn’t it amazing that we define people for what they “do” instead of who they are? Personally, I think that we are and therefore we do. Not the other way around.

    If you want to get to know someone, take them at face value. We are indeed more than our blogs, tweets, statuses, check-ins. We are each made in the image of God and that is enough to give people a chance.

    Great stuff T-dawg!
    Moe recently posted..Why We Do What We Do

  11. I love how you said: “Our identities in him are unchanging because he is unchanging.”

    I just recently updated the About Me sections on most of my internet sites/profiles/time-wasters. That changes about every 6 months, because I change about every six months, or at least the information I want out there changes. But who I am, my identity in Him, doesn’t. Great post Tracee!
    Jason Vana recently posted..We are Not Unaware…

  12. “Everyone is uniquely made and worth getting to know.”

    I love this! You can’t know someone from facebook. LOL…

    Sitting down and having a cup a coffee with some one…YES!

    Great Post Tracee.
    Arny recently posted..Harry Potter Analogy #2: Let Go.

  13. Thanks so much for sharing today, Tracee. I love how you put it. Our identities are unchanging because they come from the One that never changes.

    It’s so easy to forget when we can let so many other things define us. Then when those things change, we have an identity crisis. There’s no safer place to be than hidden in the One that NEVER changes!

  14. Great thoughts, Tracee! And yes, what a great world it would be if we could see each other the way He sees us.And what a great reminder that simply reading a person’s “About Me” page doesn’t mean that we know them – there’s so much more to who we are as people! Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart!
    Chrissy @ Fireflies and Hummingbirds recently posted..Inspiration Thursday – Find Your Happy Place, Step Two

    • SO much more to a person then just a glimpse by description. I hope we can move in the direction of really seeing people – really wanting to see people. Makes all the difference!

      I love seeing your face on here!
      Tracee recently posted..Mistaken Identity

  15. I need to care more. I am terrible at following up with people and keeping relationships going.

    With three kids, this phase of life just may not include a lot of friends!
    Matthew Snider recently posted..5 iPad Apps for Business

    • juggling family and friends is so hard. Especially with younger kids. Do you have a couple of really close friends that are pouring into you and vise versa? Hoping you are being supported through this stage as well!
      Tracee recently posted..Mistaken Identity

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