It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

12 August 2011

WORDS Affect Identity – pt. 2

12:01 AM Posted by steve flores No comments
Post 2 of 9

When I was a junior higher, I did a lot of those things mentioned in the previous post too, except the pizza slice thing.  My parents attended a church with a pretty large youth group and I thought this youth group was the most amazing thing ever.  In those days, “youth” was considered 13 years old until after college…or until you got married.  With my older brother 4 years older than me, he was part of the youth group and knew a lot of the “cool” people.  I would usually find ways to be around him, because I wanted to be noticed.  I’m sure it got annoying.

Like most kids that age, I didn’t know how to communicate with older people.  Most of the adults would put up with my stupidity, but never gave me their attention.  But there was one guy who took a chance; his name is Rudy.  I don’t even remember his last name, but he took the time to actually talk to me.  There were two words that he spoke that may seem small now, but made a huge impact then in shaping my identity.  I believe those two words still impact my life today. 

Rudy called me “big man”.  Whether I was in the hallway at church, around my 12 year old friends, around my older brother’s friends, or walking in the parking lot with my parents, when Rudy saw me, he’d say, “Hey big man!  It’s good to see you.”  “Big man,” those words were huge self-esteem boosts, because I didn’t feel like a “big man”.  I felt like an awkward, insecure, little boy.  I was a scrawny little kid.  I was meat and bones with an over-sized noggin.  Imagine the stature of a music stand.  Got it?  That was what I looked like.  Inside, I felt the same way, awkward.  Growing up, I was a very shy kid and it’s miraculous that I am able to speak from a platform, with a mic in my hand, weekly to students. 

Words play a significant role in our identity.  The words spoken to us and around us greatly affect our identity.  The words we choose to listen to will also affect our identity.  When parent’s words constantly tear their children down, rather than build them up, it’s difficult for children to feel secure about their identity.  I’ve talked with people whose parents spoke so negatively to them as a kid that, now, as an adult, they still struggle with identity issues.  Even in those cases, like I mentioned in an earlier post, God ultimately shapes your identity.  In difficult circumstances, when you are surrounded by people you didn’t choose and they tear you down with their words; remember God ultimately shapes your identity.