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Who Do You Say I Am?


Today I took my oldest son to speech therapy. While we were there, his doctor had him do some breathing exercises and then asked him some follow up questions about how well the exercises were working and if he had any questions. Every question she asked, he would shrug his shoulders and say, "I don't know." She would rephrase it and he would still give the same shrug and "I don't know," response each time. She smiled and said, "Well you are a man of few words, aren't you?" She then asked me if he was always this shy. He is a pretty reserved kid, but usually is more thoughtful and responsive when asked direct questions.


We left the appointment and I was curious why he was so disengaged, but I just figured we could chat more about it at lunch. This was a rare occasion just he and I could go have lunch together without his other three siblings. I was looking forward to it. I asked him where he wanted to eat, already having a pretty good idea what He would say, but to my surprise, he just shrugged his shoulders and responded, "I don't know." I couldn't have rolled my eyes harder.


He finally suggests something, so we go there. As we are sitting down to lunch and I ask him another EASY question, he gives me the same shrug response he's given me ever since his appointment with the doctor today.


Me: "Okay. What is going on??"

Him: "I'm eating lunch."

Me: "No, no, no. You know what I mean. What are you doing? What is this "I don't know" business? You've been saying it all morning! Is this because she called you a man of few words? Are you just embracing this comment as the new you?"


He smiled shyly and I realized he HAD embraced her words as absolute truth about himself and, for whatever reason, because he liked the idea or it seemed fitting somehow or whatever, he BECAME a man of few words. A man with no real opinion or thoughtful responses.


I turned to him and smiled then kindly informed him that when he was speaking to people, especially adults, it was important that he give thoughtful and considered answers. He should have his opinions and feel free to be direct and share his thoughts on matters, albeit respectfully. He looked at me and said, "Yes ma'am." Then he went back to his normal, responsive self for the remainder of our luncheon.


I don't think I had ever seen it so blatant, but today was a reminder that people become who they're told they are. It made me think about all the messaging my children are exposed to through trusted adults, peers, media, reading, anything! They are being told every day "truths" about who they are and what it means to be human. How much influence does God have in their lives? Is His truth ringing louder than all the other voices? Are those other voices resounding God's Truth or just some other viewpoint touted as true? It made me open my sleepy eyes to make sure I'm fully paying attention to who I let have a voice in their lives while they are so little and that is within my control. The day is coming, very soon, when they'll be allowed more freedom to choose who can speak into their lives so I want to make sure the Truth, God's Truth, is loud and clear now and they're able to distinguish truth from lie when that time comes.


But as I'm sitting here thinking about my children in all of this, I'm reminded that people become who they're told they are...and not just children. What kind of messaging am I allowing into my own world? Who is my greatest influencer? Do I spend more time devouring the world on social media than the Word of God? Do I talk through my problems with my friends more than my God? WHO is telling me who I am? Who is informing me what I should think or believe? CNN, Fox News, or YouTube? Or is it my precious Bible? If we become like what we behold, am I becoming more like the world or like Jesus? If I spend more time on social media than in the Word daily, I'm giving the seat of influence over to the World instead of Jesus.


That's a problem. Does that sound extreme? Yeah, maybe. But I don't think I'm wrong here. Which voice is louder? Which voice do you let speak to you more often? Which voice do you seek out?


Yikes. I know I have room to grow here. Not out of duty - although Jesus deserves that - but because my heart is to please God, to be near God, to love God and to be loved BY God. That means some things need to change in my life. We become who we're told we are. We become like what we behold.


Who is telling you who you are? Who are you spending more of your day beholding? I want it to be Jesus...loud and clear.



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