There is nothing quite like James Earl Jones bellowing, “Simba, remember who are! Remember!” You don’t have to have young kids in the house to know this moment from the Lion King is movie magic. Simba was neglecting his responsibilities and was allowing past failures and current fears to dictate his life. The young lion needed an identity check. If we’re honest, so do we.
I think it is important to remember our identity. When we forget who we are we tend to pretend to be someone we are not. The tides of influence coming from our peers can push us off-shore and leave us stranded with no sense of direction. We simply get caught up in doing what the group does or saying whatever the loudest voice says. Rather than be pushed and pulled into compromise, remember who you are. Remember who God is making you to be.
One of my favorite descriptions of our identity in Christ is found in the little book of 1 John. Many times in this brief letter, John calls his readers “little children.” Keep in mind that his readers are not young children, rather, they are adult men and women. So why the “little children” reference? Is it an insult? A put-down? A way of putting immature people in their place? Not at all.
John has a heart bursting with love for his readers. “Little children” is a term of deep affection. This is a vivid way to remind them their identity is determined by their relationship with their Heavenly Father. Little children play. Little children trust. Little children depend on parents. Little children are part of a bigger family that carry the family name. This is a simple identity check that helps determine words and actions.
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Consider another passage in Scripture. Galatians 4:4-7 gives us a striking glimpse into God’s family photo album. We see God sent His Son Jesus so we might receive adoption as sons and daughters. Wow. Through Jesus, we are no longer slaves. By grace, through faith—we are little children.
Why all this talk of being little children and remembering our identity? When we lose sight of our dependency on God, we tend to act like grown-ups, who can do things all by ourselves. We stop calling to our Father. We stop treating each other like brothers and sisters. Life-sustaining intimacy is cut off and we lose endurance. We forfeit joy. When we lose sight of being little children we lose our sense of direction.
Your identity is not found in the mirror. Don’t let the crowds dictate who you are. Look into God’s Word and hear the voice of our Heavenly Father (perhaps in a James Earl Jones kind of way) reminding you in Christ, we are His little children.