By a show of hands, how many of us have ever taken those annoying Facebook Quizzes? You know the ones, the kinds that try to tell you who you are. “What kind of Gem are you?” “What character from the Justice League are you?” “If you were a flavour of Ice-Cream, what kind would you be?” These may seem like fun games to pass the time, quizzes not demanding serious contemplation, yet I must admit that I have a certain level of discomfort with these quizzes.
This discomfort comes from the underlying sense of competition within the rankings, and the fact that I never appear to be named what I would consider the ‘best’ option. The individual is defined by external criteria, held up to some standard and ranked accordingly.
Yet this sense of defining or ‘ranking’ another person breeds a certain sense of competition within this quiz. Let’s be honest, a diamond is generally understood as ‘better’ than tanzanite, isn’t it? If we had to jockey for position in the Justice League, isn’t Superman superior to Martian Manhunter? And who really wants to be Black Licorice Ice-cream? Even if such rankings occur in our own minds, there is still a sense of hierarchy to which we feel we must ascribe.
Herein lies the major problem with these quizzes. I understand that these are meant to be silly and fun. Yet when so many people today deal with negative feelings around the failure to fit into the image of person hood as held up by the world around us, the danger is that these games reinforce the idea that we are who others define us to be. For many, this is a very crippling notion.
In response to these things, we need to remember that our definition is not found how others view our successes, our leadership ability, or the brightness of our hues. Nor is our definition based on our own individual accomplishments. Our identity is encased in who our creator has made and called us to be.
Viewing identity from this perspective changes everything. If we understand that we ask the question of identity not to the internet, our peers, or even ourselves, but to the God who created us, how does this change the answer? Attached below is a video of my thoughts on this. Again, this video takes the form of a Spoken Word poem. I promise that I won’t do a series of poems every single week – this is probably the last one I will post, at least for a little while. However, the form seemed to make sense based on Paul’s statements in Ephesians 2:10.
For reference, the verses that informed this poem are: Genesis 1:26; Psalm 17:8; Matthew 10:31; Revelation 19:7-8; and most prominently, Ephesians 2:10.
Enjoy . . . and remember . . . you are a poem.