There is a pithy saying that travels around local high schools and colleges in my area that goes something like this, “Let you do you.”
In other words, be who you want to be, and don’t let anyone notify you of who to be. The weird thing about this war-chant of autonomy, however, is that most people in the springtime of life don’t really know who they are, actually, to be. It is a never-ending tension. Every day is a new, struggling identity. Every day is different. Every day, their identity withers a little bit more.
On the contrary, God has created humanity to flourish.
This purposeful design for us — God’s most prized possession — is not something we come to apprehend and pursue on our own. In fact, we are born into sin and confusion (Psalm 51:5) and then begin to wither in our sin, which is the opposite of flourishing. Sin entangles us into a path that is opposite of God’s designed intentions for our lives. Not only does it separate us from God, and lead us to hell, it also disrupts how we view and pursue manhood and womanhood.
I see this withering, of sorts, in young adults more than anyone else.
If God has created me to flourish, then why do I feel as if I am floundering? Why do I feel like I am always trying to find myself? Why do I always feel like I am just trying to figure things out?
There is an identity crisis plaguing God’s most prized possession, and it’s been plaguing us since Genesis 3.
The beauty of redemption in Jesus, however, is that our identity gets turned upside down. Or, more theologically said, it gets turned back to where it was originally intended to be (2 Corinthians 5:17).
When Jesus saves us, we become new creations in Christ. We begin, again, to flourish.
We flourish because we realize our identity is rooted firmly in Christ, which then gives clarity to how God, the Father, created us to live as men and women. We begin to redemptively realize who we are as men and women when we stop begging God to declare to us who we are and instead turn our affections and shouts toward pleading with God to tell us who He is.
When this God-centered audible takes place, we move from our identity being rooted in our friend groups, occupations, job titles, financial statuses, family statuses, and accomplishments, to a more Jesus-centered view for our lives — a more positive, Gospel-driven vision.
Human Flourishing and the CBMW National Conference
I have the incredible opportunity to serve as a team member with the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), which frameworks itself in that very crusade — to unleash human flourishing through the Gospel of grace. CBMW, as a resource, is providing countless website and journal articles for you to be equipped toward this end. CBMW, as a combat-ready platoon, however, is ready to help fight for your identity in Christ as a biblical man and biblical woman.
One way we are trying to unleash the fury of the Gospel for human flourishing is by hosting a CBMW National Conference that speaks into the things that are attacking just that.
We have speakers like John Piper, David Platt, Kevin DeYoung and Al Mohler (and more) who will be speaking into how with the Gospel Jesus Christ creates true flourishing, how the Gospel renews our identities as men and women, how we should think through homosexuality and marriage in the public square, and how single men and women can live radically authentic and God-glorifying lives.
The conference is on Tuesday, April 8 in Louisville, Ky., and completely centers on this brave new movement of raising the bar for men and women in how they are embracing — with vigor — their God-designed roles and identity. And the best part: It is only $30.
At CBMW, we’re all about unleashing human flourishing into the next generation. We want to see 20-somethings thrive and get passionate about who they are in Christ. We desire to see you take dating, singleness, and the pursuit of marriage incredibly seriously. We prayerfully hope that you would fight — with us — in the war on gender and complementarianism by modeling to this world a manhood and womanhood that is equal in dignity, value and worth, but different in role and function. When we embrace this, and live within God’s designed framework for our lives, we then are able to experience the greatest joy, purpose and meaning this life — in Christ — has to offer.
We want to help you flourish as young men and women and stand beside you as we go to war on our identities.
Will you join us? What say you?
Greg Gibson is a team member with the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) and serves as the family pastor at Foothills Church in Knoxville, Tenn.
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