Last month, an article published on NBC described “[p]ractitioners of ‘race change to another,’ or RCTA,” which refers to people who “purport to be able to manifest physical changes in their appearance and even their genetics to truly become a different race.” Interviewed for the article were teenagers who are enamored with Japanese and Korean cultures and who have become convinced that, by listening to subliminal messages while they sleep, they will eventually wake up with Asian characteristics, such as eyes with an epicanthic fold.
The power to name and be named is, in Scripture, uniquely granted to image bearers. Scripture is full of examples of naming children, family members, friends, lovers, enemies, and self. Today, we approach language, particularly names and pronouns, with the assumption that we, and we alone, have a right to define our own reality. This ignores how much of the world is given to us, including the relationships into which we are born and that make up much of who we will become. Identity, in other words, is not “constructed.” It is, at least to a significant degree, received. For the vast majority of people, a name is the second gift their parents will ever give them, second only to life itself.
The Bible defines our identity not by what we do but by Whose we are. We are told that “to all who did receive [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). If our identity is our unchanging essence, this is our identity as Christians. Everything else about us can change, but this cannot. Once we become the children of God, we are a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We will forever be the children of our Father in heaven.
So if you are feeling like you are boring or that your life is boring, I beg you to reconsider. You are divine. The same materials God used to make stardust and amethyst and sunsets are the same materials he used to weave you together in your mother’s womb. You are not boring. You are just disconnected from your stunning, complex, beautiful authentic self.