It’s Five Minute Friday time, and the prompt for this week is, “define”. Join me as we consider this word today.
What defines me?
According to Dictionary.com, two meanings for the word, “define” are:
We can be defined by a lot of different things. Events, circumstances, feelings, opinions all affect how I define my life.
These self-definitions help describe who we are and who we want to be. How we define ourselves can also set up boundaries (both positive and negative) that will be difficult to cross.
I can live in the past … and never move forward or plan and change my life for the better.
I can live for the future … and forget the formative events and people who have served to make me who I am today.
I can listen to the words of those around me, both positive and negative … and forget the words of the One who made me.
I can rely on my fickle emotions … and refuse to believe the truth beyond what I can feel.
I can base my value on what I do, how much I achieve or produce, what I own, how much money I have, how talented I am, the grades and recognition I may or may not receive, and what others think (or what I think they think) about me … all the while ignoring the truth which is often disguised by the way things look on the surface.
Some folks even prefer to define themselves by their difficult circumstances … because they don’t know anything else and are afraid to change.
We have a choice about what defines us.
I’ll never forget a little story I read many years ago in a Readers’ Digest article.
It was about two men who were brothers of an alcoholic father. One went on to be a responsible adult with a good job and family. The other made nothing of himself and may have become an alcoholic himself.
When asked about why they turned out the way they did, each man had the same answer:
“What would you expect with a father like mine?”
It’s not always easy, but we always have a choice.
I chose to listen to the truth.
I can find the truth when I believe the the good words of those who care about me.
I can find the best truth when I believe the words of a God who not only made me, but designed me for a beautiful and unique purpose.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
– Psalm 139:13-18a, NLT
You can choose what defines you.
Choose to believe, and act upon … the truth.