I agree with Rob Bell on the need to find our true self or identity and be comfortable with who we really are, and not what others try to make us to be. Our true identity isn’t defined by external factors, such as the country of origin, or the occupation we work in, and so on. Who we really are is based on our unchangeable source from which/whom we came. I would say we are Love, and our true name is Beloved.
I remember writing a blog called “Putting on Christ” some time ago, in which I wrote: I learnt that to “put on Christ” is to be conscious of our true identity in Him. It is not so much like a physical act of putting on the robe of righteousness, as it is to adopt the mindset that we are already made righteous and innocent and blameless in His image – this is our original identity.
I think this message is a good reminder for us to embrace ourselves by coming to terms with who we are, knowing that we need not always follow others’ expectations of us or live our life according to the expectations of others, whether they are authority figures or family members, and so on. This will ensure we will not lose sight of our hopes and dreams. Otherwise when we think we fall short of others’ scripted story for us, we tend to feel guilty for failing them.
As Rob Bell said, each of us is meant to work out our own salvation, as we need to save ourselves from all the time we haven’t been our true self when we tried to be someone else. Others have their own paths, and we have our own paths. The struggle of Jacob is the struggle of all of us in coming to terms with who we are. And just as Jesus invited Peter to follow him instead of comparing himself with John, he invites us to be our true self and not compare ourselves with others or measure our life with others’ or envy them. I agree we can own our story, and answer the question “What is your name?”, as our name signifies who we are. Yes, may we discover our true self, and find the unique path for ourselves, and be comfortable in our own skins.