In a crowd of white people, especially at my new setting, I stand out.
I can distinguish myself from others. If I need to look for my wife in a crowd at church, it’s not that hard to find her.
No matter where I go, no matter who I’m with, the fact that I’m Korean is never going to change.
I will always be slightly different.
I can eat the same food as them, I can be entertained by the same things as them, I can be outraged at the same upsetting things as them, I can wear the same clothing, I can drive the same cars, live in the same neighborhoods, but deep down, I am different from them. There’s no taking out my Korean blood out of me. Yes, I’m not that big fan of Korean food, but go 2 or so weeks without it, my body craves it. Everyone in California seemingly wears shoes inside their houses. Wherever I live, people will not walk with shoes inside the house. I think slightly different from the people around me. My culture, ethnicity has molded me into a certain way and with a certain perspective.
I could be surrounded by Japanese and Chinese people, but I will still be different from them.
Where am I going with this?
Isn’t this how I should be as a Christian?
That no matter where I am, who I’m with, that there will be something inherently different about who I am because of who I love?
That I could be surrounded by non-believers, yet still stand out in a different way? That my identity and belief sort of sets me apart from the rest of the flock? Not in an elitist, snobby way, but to be slightly different because of what I believe…
This thought came to me because I don’t really know what a Christian is. We have Koreans who call themselves Christians, yet they go hire Hispanics for minimum wage (sometimes lower) and make them to ridiculous jobs, and if they don’t perform, these so called Christians will use physical force to get their ways. I know those who refer to them as Christians, but only go to church on Sundays, and live however they want the other days. And then we have those Christians that we admire and who earnestly try to live for God’s glory. Yet, all three consider themselves Christians.
Sometimes, I think I’ve conformed to the world to a point where I can’t differentiate myself as a follower of Christ to someone who believes there is no God. I’ve read somewhere (I think Shane Claiborne) that we’ve Christians haven’t really shown the world a different way to live. We live exactly as they do and just sprinkle a little Jesus here and there.
I just feel that I should be different from others, not because of what I say or how I look, but because of how I live. And how I love.
We’re not supposed to be of this world, but that doesn’t mean we should go and isolate ourselves from it, either. And that’s a struggle I seem to face more than I’d like.
3 thoughts on “My Identity”
Hey Joseph, Kevin is right. Your posts on this transition have been powerful and interesting. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading, Matt.