YOU ARE ACCEPTED BY GOD:  Colossians 1:19-22 “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” 

Identity issues.  We all have them.

As Christians, we have the amazing opportunity to trade in worldly identity markers, for the one solid truth that is:  We are God’s children; loved, accepted, forgiven, and fully pleasing to God.
But it still isn’t easy, is it?

The identity “crisis” begins early.  Unfortunately, our kids face it young.  For kids in the surfing community, there can be a lot of  pressure.  Unlike team sports, kids who surf are out there on their own.   There is no passing the buck if their performance isn’t up to expectations.  There is a tendency to feel good about oneself only if and when they are surfing well.  It makes sense that a kid might start to associate their self-worth with how well they are surfing.  If they are competitive, then this is especially true.

Adding to the pressures, is the more recent issues of “sponsorship.”  These days many young surfers tote boards around with their sponsors’ names plastered all over them…And they aren’t shy to approach another grom with the question:  “So, are you sponsored?”

For an UNsponsored kid, this can be a painful question.  If he or she is already struggling with identity issues, what is a kid to do when put in an environment where being “sponsored” is synonymous with being accepted?  Further, once a young surfer is “sponsored’ by a brand, how much harder it is to keep level-headed!  There is a new temptation to feel a false sense of pride, and then the associated fear of losing sponsorship.  Losing identity.

Heavy for a kid, isn’t it?

This dilemma obviously isn’t unique to surfing–the same scenarios play out in all facets of life–from the time we are old enough to think abstractly, or from the time we know how to…compare.

For our family: We are trying to keep our kids so thoroughly grounded in their TRUE identity, that they can keep perspective, even in the midst of so many pressures.  We teach our kids the truths found in Scriptures,  like: You are declared righteous by God (2 Cor. 5:21) and You are accepted by God (Col. 1:19-22.) to the point that the Word is hidden in their heart.  We talk through things, like sponsorship, kids’ attitudes, jealousy, and insecurity before it comes up.  Because it will.

And when it does, it still hurts.
But it doesn’t have to crush a kid.
They can learn to let things roll off their shoulders a little easier if they are grounded in TRUTH.

Surfing can become a training ground for life.
Which, until heaven, will not get any easier.
Written by Monica,