What is your identity hinged on?
‘I’m nothing without the suit!’
In the movie Spider-man: Homecoming, Peter Parker (i.e. Spider man) makes the above comment to Tony Stark (Iron man, for those that don’t know) when Tony threatens to take his Spiderman suit away from him. His worry was that he needed the suit to be able to make a difference, keep saving lives and keeping the peace. In a way, he was right. There were things he could do with the suit (fly between buildings for a start) that he could not do on his own. The suit had special powers after all.
The response Peter got back from Tony Stark is a thought-provoking one.
‘If you’re nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it’
The point Tony was trying to get Peter to understand, I believe, was that what made him special was not the suit itself, but what was within him. There was so much more to him than that Spidey suit!
This got me thinking; how often do we hide behind our ‘super powered suit’, worried that if someone took it away from us, we wouldn’t be able to function anymore? That we would somehow lose our identity?
Think for a moment, what is the ‘suit’ in your life, that you’re holding onto? That you feel if taken away from you would cause your world to fall apart?
Is it your job? Do you think people only listen to you because you’re the boss girl, the CEO or the head of department? Or maybe it’s your marriage. You think you only command respect amongst your friends because you now have a lovely Mrs hanging on your arm. Or your looks- they’ve got you so far in life. Or even your children- you see yourself first and foremost as a mom / dad before anything else. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with any of these specifically, but let me challenge you; imagine one of the above (or something else in your life) is taken away from you. Would it make you feel less of a person?
The point is, what makes us who we are, is not what we have, or what people see on the outside, but what lies within us. And as Christians, it goes even further. What makes us special is what God has deposited inside of us.
But too often, we hide behind our so-called masks and suits. Somehow, we think these things are what make us, us.
Ask yourself this:
'What is my identity hinged on?'
As Christians, our identity should be anchored in Christ, and Christ alone. This means that if we lose everything that we have here on earth, we do not lose an iota of significance. If I am jobless, I still have value. If I don’t have children, I still have value. If I never get married, I still have value. If I am poor, I still have immense value! My identity does not lie in anything external, or physical, but in Christ. And in what He did on the cross for me. That’s what comes first, and everything else follows.
To the world, we may be nothing, overlooked even, but to God, we are everything. The Bible talks about treasures in jars of clay. God chooses to use what the world may look at as unworthy, and says to us, ‘you are worth it’ (cue Loreal advert).
In the end (and if you haven’t seen the movie, I absolutely recommend it), Peter Parker realises that his powers lie within him, and not in the suit. The suit was there to help him, amplify his powers, but was not the source of his powers.
With God, you don’t need any suit. You can hold your head up high no matter your current situation, knowing that you are loved, you are called by name, and you are a part of the richest family in heaven and on earth. Now that’s something worth identifying with!