I was born into a family of Chinese-Singaporeans who immigrated to the United States. Throughout my life, I was exposed to different cultures and customs. My parents wanted me to know my heritage, while at school I was taught values that were more American. For example, in Chinese culture, it’s considered rude to open a gift in front of the giver, while in American culture, this is done quite often. Sometimes, I wasn’t sure how to act or how to perceive things. I didn’t know what my ultimate identity was. Should I follow the Eastern or Western way of doing things?
When I came to know Jesus, I learned that He accepts anybody as His child no matter what background they are from. There are Christians around the world speaking different languages, yet in the end, they are all children of God. So, while I can step into both familiar and unfamiliar cultures, I identify first and foremost as a Christian. I don’t have to decide between human-made cultures and borders because I know that, in the end, I am a child of God.
Paul writes in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Therefore, I realized that the ethics that matter most are the ones our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ taught. Jesus’s teachings are how I live my life today. If you are struggling with your identity right now, know that Jesus sees you, and He wants to help you. You can trust in the Lord Jesus and know that your identity will forever be with Him. • Isaac Ong
• As Christians, our identity is secure in Jesus. What can today’s Bible passages tell us about who we are in Him? Why could it be helpful to take time to remember what God says about us?
• Think about the customs you were taught by your school, guardians, and others. While it can be difficult to navigate different customs, as Christians, we get to follow Jesus first and foremost. God created diversity, so we can appreciate and enjoy our beautiful differences. Through His Word, His Spirit, and His people, He helps us discern how to interact with those around us. In differing cultural situations, such as the way we exchange gifts, neither option is sinful. And Jesus’s ministry models how we should serve the people around us, being considerate of others’ needs, traditions, and cultural contexts (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Who are trusted Christians in your life who can help you discern how to follow Jesus in your own particular context?
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. Galatians 3:26 (NIV)