We've entered a time in history when you get a hero's welcome for "coming out." Pro athletes, movie stars, musicians, models ... everyone is into the "coming out" thing. So, I propose we all come out as well!
A good friend once shared a clever statement he'd read: "The older I get, the more I become like who I am."
If you take a second to think about it, the statement describes the change we experience in our self-identity as we age. After a while we don't need to pretend anymore. Ever notice how older folks just do their thing and don't care what others think? Remember that time your Grandpa wore Bermuda shorts, black socks, and wingtips? So, that's what I'm talking about. Age seems to remove the pride filters that keep us doing certain things simply so others will think of us in a certain way. But as we age, we get tired of all that work. We steadily become on the outside what we've been all along on the inside.
Eventually, who we really are, and what we really think, "come out."
But there's a problem here. Who are we really? Or, to put it another way, what do we allow to define us?
It is popular today to allow culture to define us. Right now sexuality is all the rage, and those consumed with it are rushing to hoist their identifying banners. The celebrity news pages are filled with those who are "coming out" as homosexual, transgender, bisexual, polyamorous, or whatever is the aberrant flavor of the day. How sad.
Others are anxious to be defined by their fashion. Whether they are avant garde, bohemian, or haute couture, they are pulled around by the pocket book to find the latest garment, in the "in" color and style, along with hair and all the accessories. How sad.
Still others are defined by their cars, their homes and vacation homes, their upscale vacations, country club memberships, and whatever else they can buy to showcase their financial success. How sad.
I'm sure there are many other categories we could mention, but these will do for now.
My point is that we're all trying desperately to show the world around us what we want them to think we are, and that's a huge mistake. Eventually, we'll look back on it and say we wasted our lives pretending, and come to the place where we just stop. At that point, we become like who we really are, and that's when it will pay to be someone worth being.
Here's the deal: The only way you and I will ever be satisfied with who we are is to let our Creator do the identifying. He made us. He made us for a purpose, and granted us the privilege of being his representatives on earth. He made us to be his image bearers, to take care of his creation, to worship him in love and truth, while populating the world with those who would follow on in these God-directed ways.
You'll never find happiness trying to define yourself in other ways. You are more than sexual activity. You are more than fashion. You are more than all you may accumulate. You are a unique creation of God himself, designed to commune with him, and find satisfaction and purpose in obeying his commands.
The bottom line is this: Is your "coming out" really an advertisement of your selfish and sinful desire to live life on your own terms, for your own pleasure, and with no regard for the God who made you? Or is your "coming out" a declaration that you've come to understand your very best option is always to obey God's words and ways as found in the Bible?
The older you get, are you becoming more and more like where you're going? If you're a Christ-follower, your destination is the very presence of God. May our lives become more and more like him as we journey closer and closer to him.