*Strawberries aren’t berries, but bananas are.* – Stanford University Alumni Magazine
So I’ve gone my whole life being lied to. We all have. They have berry in their name, they’re grouped with all the other berries at the grocery store and yet, they aren’t. I guess Strawaggregatefruit doesn’t have the same ring to it. Chalk one up for the marketers and PR consultants.
Bananas by contrast, have been relegated to their own section of the produce department and in our collective consciousness they’re not berries. In fact we have no idea what they are besides fruit. They don’t have berry in their name, don’t look like any other berry so therefore we’ve all decided they’re not. We haven’t taken the time to understand exactly what they are because we’ve believed what everyone believes about them, they’re not a berry.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
We all know that looks can be deceiving, those around us define us by how we dress, what we drive and what we do. Perception is reality. Our past, our present can be used to complete a picture of who we are and we become the person that others define us as. That’s a lot of power we give to others, and in turn take away from God. It also doesn’t mean a thing to assign value to Earthly things, God couldn’t give a rip.
1 Peter 3:3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart
Our hidden person, the truth about ourselves is that regardless of the title we’re assigned by ourselves or by the world around us there’s something we know, and more importantly something God know about us that’s the truth, we’re His beloved. It’s not a fairy-tale title or a Rube Goldberg, nor is it something we earn. It’s already been secured for us.
Ephesians 1:5-8 He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.
So regardless of the title you carry, or the way you believe others see you, there is an identity you have that doesn’t come from the world around us. We can’t be defined as one thing over another, because we’re so much more than something that can be categorized into one section, regardless of what others may believe about you. There’s nothing that can be gained by giving into perception and image management. God see’s through that, and the more time you spend on that the less time you have for your relationship with God. A closeness He craves and we see going back to the Garden of Eden. He knows us, sees us and knows if we’re hiding from Him. He knows right where we’re at, and doesn’t want us to believe anything that the world might try and tell us.
Believe in who you are, by how God see’s you through His wise eyes not through ours that are shaded by our world. Be proud of who you are regardless of any title you may carry around, you’re chosen for great things and for a life in eternity with a God who adores you.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.