We all have it in us, we all long for it, it’s the thing that has caused us to make that decision that we’ve regretted for years. We all want to be known. You know, accepted, loved, and accomplished. I mean, just look at our culture, “Follow me” “Send me a friend request” “Retweets” “Likes”. It all just fuels the fires of insecurity. Let’s be honest, no one wants to get left out by their friends, ignored, unfollowed, and unappreciated. Actually I hate getting left out, I fear missing out on good times. There are reasons we feel this way, there are reasons that we have this longing to be known.
“To the degree that we embrace the truth that our identity is not rooted in our success, power, or popularity, but in God’s infinite love, to that degree can we let go of our need to judge.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen
So, what is it about us that we have this growing need to be known, to the point that we do the ridiculous (or even the tragic) just to have our fifteen minutes of fame? I think at the heart of it all, it goes back to the biblical story of Adam and Eve and our rebellion against God. The point of the story is that human beings are in some sort of rebellion against God and this rebellion, known as sin, has had cosmos altering consequences ever since. We have become alienated from God and from one another so we seek outside pleasures. That alienation has produced fear and insecurity, loneliness and shame. So don’t worry we aren’t the first generation, it’s been around a long time. Think back on a time that you made a negative decision, was it because you really wanted to, or to impress the people around you. As strange as it may seem; I think that everything we do, wither it be a tweet, a text message, making a joke, saying something, etc is for some underlying reason of wanting to be known and accepted. We are born with insecurity, all of us are, and it’s in our blood. We don’t just want to be known, we crave it.
The question that always comes up in my head is why would God create us with such identity issues? Why on earth does he let us suffer so much internally that he lets us make just plain stupid external decisions? I think that God created us with this because once we understand his love and how much he knows us; it makes our relationship with god seem so much more personal. Don’t we know what God thinks of us? Don’t we know who he says we are? How many more times are you going to put your faith in other people/or things who deep down you know are just going to let you down once again?
Pray this prayer found in Psalm 139 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24)