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Struggling to find yourself

In our modern era we struggle to connect in ways that should come more naturally to us. We should connect with others, with God, and most fundamentally, with ourselves. I’m going to take a blog to correlate  each of these themes to a song. I’ll begin with the theme of feeling of struggling t…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
In our modern era we struggle to connect in ways that should come more naturally to us. We should connect with others, with God, and most fundamentally, with ourselves. I’m going to take a blog to correlate  each of these themes to a song. I’ll begin with the theme of feeling of struggling to love or even find yourself.
“Love others as you love yourself” Scripture says. So that’s fundamental.
Yet the rising suicide rate should tell us that something is broken. We live in a society where too many people feel fundamentally estranged from themselves.
How do we find our way back? How do we connect with our core self?
Pink Floyd did a great job with it’s album “The Wall.” It depicts a child growing up in a world without connections.
I think a whole generation is growing up this way. What do you think?

Comments (8)

  • Thanks for prompting our thinking in your own inimitable way Seth. I look forward to your insights.

    We are all looking for a tribe and authentic community. And many are willing to cash it all in to get there.

    We never find our “core self” alone.

  • Here in Mexico we’re fighting tooth and nail to keep a generation from slipping into the narco culture. And, at present, we’re losing this fight. It’s frustrating to see drug use peak dramatically among kids ages 12 to 18. Talking about identities, it’s frustrating to see them imitate the narcos in their dress and attitudes. The narcos use them as gatilleros (triggerman) and some of these kids would kill you in a heartbeat…

    My wife was in Matamoros this past weekend and actually stayed at the AIM base. She participated in a pastors’ wives retreat where many of the women reported that their churches are being threatened by the narcos. A few churches are closing down under the pressure and one pastor’s wife in attendance told had she’d been kidnapped the previous week. They held her for several hours and let her go saying, “we just want to show you how vulnerable you are.”

    We are in a war here south of the border. We covet your prayers.

  • Wow, you are so right Seth, about the significance of young people feeling connected. I want and pray for this authentic community and “connection” for my own kids but also for the many middle schoolers that Andy and I are working with at our church. I am learning that these 12-14 year olds need a listening ear, prayer, love and you said it “connection”. There are so many hurting young people and they feel so disconnected. When the floodgates open up for some of these kids and they do open up during small group or one-on-one time, God wants us to be there to love them. God is teaching me how to be available for them to share their hearts, hurts, lives, and broken worlds.

    God help us to be more present with this younger generation and allow you to heal their broken world!!!!!! Thanks for this blog! It encourages me to keep moving forward in what God is calling me to.

  • What a great concept for sharing your thoughts, dad! So much of our personal struggles and insecurity stem from lack of identity, which is basically not knowing yourself. How do we find our way back? As Butch pointed out, we can’t even begin without other people, so maybe that’s where we start?

  • Good word. I think culture has given us false pursuits of finding ourselves that ultimately don’t end in community or accountability. That’s why you see younger people (although not just exclusively younger people) chasing one selfish pipe dream after another. Finding yourself (and your tribe) requires sacrifice. There’s just no way around it.

  • Great questions Seth! Really makes you think.

    2 Corinthians 3:17 seems to stick in my head, I think mainly because of that Passion song. “Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” I think that the freedom is to turn away from ourselves and our self-made ways of salvation and to turn to become a reflection of the Lord’s glory.

    I think if we take a good long look at Jesus, we will see ourselves accurately, but by then it won’t matter much anymore because we will be overwhelmed by the glory of the Lord. I think this is what will give hope and purpose to this lost generation and I pray that they will find their freedom in the Lord.

  • I agree with Jeff’s word about culture. The ideal hero traits that get handed down through movies, literature, and real-life role models can be absolutely ridiculous. After high school I basically wanted to be Howard Roark for two years–that is, to live as an elite and self-propelled person, and to convince the world that I didn’t need them.

    Lemme tell ya, that worked out great for me. I look back on it all as the phase in which I tried my best to self-initiate. Deep down, all I really wanted was to be loved and acknowledged.

    As one who mentors college students, this inner emotional blindness is *incredibly* common and widespread, especially among guys. We’ve learned how to dodge the root issue incredibly well. Although we can’t blame everything on culture, certainly it’s a major player here:

    “Feeling inadequate? You need to get in shape!”
    as opposed to:
    “You need to deal with parental wounds / forgiveness / identity in Christ / lies from the enemy / *emotions!* / etc.”

  • Interesting that tonite’s Hillsong movie in various theatres across the country discussed this very thing… apart from being really long and a little superfluous in the beginning (which may have been part of the point), they did a good job of talking about what a dead end everything besides love is…

    To love and be loved. What everyone wants and needs. Old. Young. Rich. Poor.

    God is love. Jesus loves us as much as God loves Him. The last thing Jesus tells his disciples is to be as unified (in love) with each other as He is with the Father.

    Ghandi said, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others.” … sounds a lot like Jesus – “if you lose your life for my sake you’ll save it.”

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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