It’s Not About What Happens

Which experiences have shaped your identity?

This question is prompted by my opportunity to talk to some students this morning about Experiences That Shape Our Identities.

I think I understand the teacher’s point. She wants me to tell her kids about my story and how it impacts my self-image. It’ll be a great discussion, except for one minor detail: my identity isn’t shaped by experiences, but by my attitudes toward those experiences.

Life’s not about what happens to us, it’s about how we choose to respond.

So I’ll tell them about the injury and how I felt sorry for myself for a decade. I’ll tell them how a crummy attitude made me a disabled, helpless, hopeless guy.

But I’ll also tell them God showed me a better way, that I learned I didn’t have to travel this difficult road alone. I’ll tell them Jesus helped me change my attitude, and that new attitude shapes my identity much more than a wheelchair.

Kids need to know that experiences matter. They need to know even more that they have the power to overcome their circumstances.

I hope I don’t wreck the premise of the unit.

Which attitudes shape your identity?

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site

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