I was born in Canada, so that makes me Canadian. My parents were born in India, so that makes me Indian. I believe in Jesus Christ, so that makes me Christian. I’m also a popcorn-eating, faith-blogging, elementary teacher who loves reading, writing and arithmetic. So what does that make me?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “Where are you from?”, and with expectancy of some exotic location from abroad, I respond with a less than exciting answer. I’ve come to realize, people want to know who we are, what makes us different and what we identify with. People love labels.
For years I struggled finding my place. There were those that assumed that just because my skin was brown and that on the rare special occasion I wore Indian outfits, I religiously practiced Hinduism. This could not be further from the truth. It is possible to identify with two cultures or even ethnicities, but it’s impossible to identify with two religions. I’m a Christian. I love Jesus. My faith and assurance is in Him alone. I don’t dabble in other religions or faith. Jesus is the the only way
There are Christians all over the world look different than we do, they have a beautiful variety of skin tones, ethnicities and cultures. They dress in traditional clothes, dance, sing and don’t look the way we think they should look. Jesus did not come with a set of instructions or an application form for people to follow Him. He looks beyond skin colour, beyond what our natural eyes can see in people. He doesn’t have a list of requirements for us to be loved and accepted. All He said was, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” and “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”- (Romans 10:9,13).
Before I identify with any other “label”, I identify my worth, my value and my culture in Christ. I have a new culture, a new identity in Christ and you can too.
We need to do a serious heart check about our assumptions and the stereotypes we hold. The old saying is true, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”, and biblically, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”- 1 Samuel 16:7
People will always make assumptions based on what they see. Remind yourself today that God accepts you as you are, He sent His only Son to die for you because He loves you so much. Jesus was no respecter of persons, He loved everyone. You would often find him hanging out with the poor, the so-called outcasts and “unlovable”. What a perfect example of how we are to love and accept one another.