As the holidays draw closer, I sit and think about the happiness and joy that comes with them. However, not everyone experiences this happiness and joy, and even less experience it during these winter holidays. This is for a multitude of reasons, but I believe it boils down to one thing: connection. Even deeper than that, it can be a lack of confidence in one’s identity. If you aren’t sure of who you are, it is not as easy to make connections with others. Relationships are harder to form, and it becomes a perpetual cycle of isolation. True confidence in one’s identity can only come from God and fellowship with Him, and that is what we must strive for daily.
Human beings were created with the innate desire for connection, whether we realize it or not. This applies to all, introverted or extroverted. The simplest way to connect with others is to start a friendship on common ground. This could build into a longtime friendship, but it started at a surface level. Deep, healthy relationships are best formed when both people are confident in their identity. If you are confident in who you are, then by association, you must also be confident in your beliefs and values. You will be steadfast against the current of society as it pushes back. Romans 12:2 makes this abundantly clear: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Through our fellowship with the Lord, we learn about and become more confident in who we are and who we are meant to be. I am of the belief that we will never be completely who God made us to be. We have a limited time on this earth, and we are human beings. We are not perfect. We will race behind, we will stumble, and we will most certainly fall. Society is dark and bleak, but luckily, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19a) This is by far my favorite verse, and I am so glad I got to use it in this blog contextually. It reminds me that, although the pattern of this world persists, we will always have hope for a brighter future in God, so long as we continue to pursue Him. Although our identities will be under attack for as long as we live on this earth, our heavenly hope will always win. This is cause for thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is a holiday that occurs in November, right? Of course. However, the name itself is two words conjoined: giving thanks. This leads us to believe that we can celebrate Thanksgiving on days other than the national holiday, which is true! There is absolutely nothing stopping us from being thankful every day of the year, and in fact, it is encouraged! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. When we are thankful, we can celebrate with others by sharing our heavenly joy. By doing so, we encourage others do the same. However, it all begins with that confidence in our identity in Christ; a domino effect, if you will. The confidence in our identity leads to the joy of the Lord, and the joy of the Lord is our strength. Our confidence will create connections, and these connections will weaken the efforts this world makes to dampen our spirits.
I sign off by encouraging you to continue to grow in your relationship with God and let His Spirit flow through you! Through this, we can be more confident in ourselves and spread that holiday joy every day!
To get more information and join the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3) movement, go to www.sc-c3.org and become a member today!
Cameron Jordan is a third-year mechanical engineering student at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. Cameron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.