CAST Voices Devotion: Youth Identity
13 June 2017
By George Mwaura
1 Peter 2:9 For you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.
I love working with young people because I truly believe each of them has a future in Christ despite their current situation. If we bear this in mind, it changes the way we look at young people.
For me personally, growing up in the Mathare Slum of Nairobi, Kenya as a young person was not easy, especially when it came to the people who influenced me. When I was 12-16 years old, I identified with anything that seemed meaningful. Part of me knew I could find meaning in Christ, but I did not have someone to help me explore that option. Most of the time I leaned towards what my friends identified with, such as hip-hop culture or Rastafarianism. Despite all my efforts to immerse myself in these popular trends, nothing was meaningful. I knew deep down in my heart that whatever I clung to would lead to meaninglessness as my predecessors had not led meaningful lives.
From my experience, finding your identity is a critical stage because whatever you settle for defines who you become in the future. Yes, some might meet Jesus later in life, but then you have to face so much embedded in your old identity. In order to take on your new identity, you would need someone to journey with to solidify your identity.
Finding our identity today continues to be challenge. It is one thing to claim Christianity, but it’s another to fully embrace that identity. It’s like having an ID, but never using it. I believe if most people understood the value of their IDs (and the rights thereof) they would take better care of it, and use those rights.
We have so many youth around us. They are full of potential, but unless they can figure out their identity, they might not ever become who they are meant to be. Lack of stable family structures in our society doesn’t help, but this can’t be an excuse. As Christians, we are called to point people to their Creator. This calls for intentional living.
- How do you identify with Christ?
- Are you aware of young people struggling with identity?
- Do you have someone you are intentionally working with to help them find their identity in Christ?