If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
A common icebreaker question, and yet it always causes me to have a mild identity crisis.
First off, I don't think anyone is only one word. People are never only one thing all the time. Everyone is multifaceted. Putting that aside, I think the question is really asking, what is your most important quality or description? What are you known for being?
Still striking me with a bit of a crisis.
I have dealt with mental illness, mainly anxiety, for a majority of my life. To be honest, trying to get a grip on life while struggling to stay sane has consumed me. When asked to describe myself in one word, the first thing I think of is "anxious." I am the definition of "anxiety."
And that is depressing.
I don't want to be anxiety. I can be so much more than that. I want to be kind, thoughtful, happy, smiley, encouraging, friendly, Christ-fearing, and the list goes on. I don't want anxiety to define my life, because it is not who I am.
In the Bible, 1 John 3:1 states, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"
We are children of God. That is who we are. We are free to be other things, like happy or kind, in fact, we are called to be these things, but the main aspect of our being should be our adoption as sons and daughters of God.
Anxiety is not a sin, but it is a side effect to living in a broken and sinful world. All that to say, anxiety is not eternal, but our position as children of God is. So when we define ourselves, how much greater is it to be defined by something that never changes.
Sure, we can be friendly or thoughtful, but we are not always these things. We are always children of God. Even when we sin. God calls us His children.
In 2 Corinthians 6:18, it says, "'I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,'says the Lord Almighty."
God calls us His children. He defines us as His children. So why shouldn't we define ourselves this way?
Furthermore, in Galatians 4:7, it says, "So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir."
We are not slaves to our emotions, especially our anxiety. Being a child of God means that we are forever loved and cared for by God, making our anxiety like nothing in comparison.
So when we think of how to define ourselves in one word, think of yourself in the same way God sees you and in the definition that will never change. You are not your emotions. You are important. You are loved. You are a child of God.