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Revealed: Discovering Your True Identity in Christ for Teen Boys and Young Men
by Alex Kendrick
Learn More | Meet Alex Kendrick | Meet Stephen Kendrick | Meet Troy Schmidt
THE QUESTION WE ALL ASK
Who are you?
It’s a question you probably ask yourself all the time . . . I mean ALL THE TIME.
There’s the self your parents see.
The self your friends like.
The self that gets made fun of.
The self you like or don’t like—depending on the day.
And the self you try to be.
So who are you?
All the above? A little bit of each? Or maybe, none of them answer the question.
Have you ever thought about being a private investigator? A detective? A cold case solver? You may have been inspired by an investigator on television.
There are many different crime shows on TV, but the basic plot line of all of them is the same. A crime is committed. A brilliant team of investigators (all with special talents) come together to solve the mystery. Then there’s a commercial break, an action scene involving cars, some talking, and another commercial. Finally, an amazing chase on foot through a crowded fruit market, where the crook is caught, and the heroes triumph.
Let’s you and I take on a case together. It may not look exactly like the TV shows—I can’t promise a heart-thumping car chase—but it certainly will be important, because this case involves something you should find very interesting—YOU.
HERE’S THE MYSTERY: WHO ARE YOU?
It’s time to wrap some yellow police tape around yourself, because you’re the one under investigation.
Many crime shows take place in big cities, but this kind of investigation is happening all the time, and everywhere.
Starting at an early age, guys just like you are asking themselves the same question: Who am I?
You can answer simply by saying: I’m Hispanic, I’m level 92 on Fortnite, I get all A’s, or I’m an athlete. We usually stop there. But it’s not that simple because what you really want to know is your IDENTITY.
Your identity is the foundation of all of you: past, present, future; internal thoughts and external behavior; actions, beliefs; your motivation and drive.
It’s more than just saying “HI, MY NAME IS BILL SMITH.” “Bill” is a name that identifies you. “Smith” separates you from other Bills. Then what? There are thousands of other Bill Smiths. Are they all the same? Of course their fingerprints and DNA are different, but more than that. They all look, sound, and act differently, with different dreams and different motivations. Their identities are unique. But, there are some similarities that we all share that can help us discover our unique identities.
In truth, there are four questions that need to be answered:
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
WHAT HAVE YOU BECOME?
WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
The Bible has revealed the answer to all four of these questions, and in the end, will help you discover your true identity.
So why do we need to answer these questions? Because this crazy world will try to tell you who you are, and it won’t line up with who you REALLY are. The world will lie to you at every turn, and as a result, you will struggle with doubt, hopelessness, and pain. But once you reveal the answers to who you are, then you can face the future with confidence and assurance.
Let’s take on this case and find the answers.
The revelation will have eternal consequences.
Who Are You
THERE’S BEEN A CRIME
Let’s say you get out of school, walk to the parking lot to go home, and you discover . . .
Your car is gone.
Immediately you examine the scene, looking for clues.
There are cars all around, safe and intact, but not yours. No one else seems to be worried or missing their cars.
You begin to ask questions . . .
“Hey, has anyone seen my car? Did you see someone take it?”
Sadly, no one saw anything.
You look around for security cameras and spot one on a nearby lamppost that is pointed in the right direction.
You run inside to find Mr. Jenkins, the head of security for your school. As you tell him what’s happened, he turns to his computer, pulls up the camera footage, and rewinds through time until he sees . . .
Mr. Ainsley! Wait . . . your fourth-period chemistry teacher stole your car?
You and Mr. Jenkins rush to his security golf cart. You fly down the road right into Mr. Ainsley’s yard. You spot Mr. Ainsley in the garage, working on your car. Mr. Jenkins tackles Mr. Ainsley and ties him to a chair.
You click on a flashlight, shining the light in his eyes to let him know just how serious you are. And the interrogation begins.
You probably didn’t ask Mr. Ainsley:
- How was your day?
- What did you have for lunch?
- Did I pass my mid-term?
No, you probably asked:
- Who do you think you are?
- Why did you steal my car?
- Do you regret what you’ve done?
- What are we going to do to fix this?
Any good investigator gets right to the point.
- IDENTITY: Who is this person?
- CONFESSION: Did they commit the crime?
- MOTIVE: Why did they commit this crime?
- REPENTANCE: Do they regret what they have done, and are they going to turn away from their life of crime?
In other words, mysteries can only be solved if the right questions are asked.
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