Toy Story the Story of Identity

woodys-footThis past weekend the Disney Channel showed all three of the Toy Story films. The most poignant moment in each movie for me is when the key character looks at his foot and sees Andy’s name scrawled there. It is the reminder that he needs of who he is and who he belongs to.

A person’s identity is critical to his self understanding. It defines what he does and how he does it. It shapes everything about him. Who we understand ourselves to be is the answer to our fundamental question of why are we here.

So who are you? Whose name is on the bottom of your foot?

For the Christian the name on the bottom of our foot is Jesus. He has bought us. 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 is powerful…

17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision.19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

It’s fascinating isn’t it? Paul could be writing this today. We are so easily caught up in becoming something we’re not. We find our identity in things that don’t matter. Paul wants us to understand that who we are is not determined by our circumstances. Who we are is determined by the fact that the Christian was, “bought with a price”. Since we are bought with a price we are not to become “bondservants of men”.

What does that mean?

Simply, it means that we are to understand ourselves in light of our relationship with Jesus. What we do (religious stuff, work stuff, whatever…) does not define us. It is who we know.

If we are defined by being in Christ, then this reality must determine how we live. Who we are defines what we do. We don’t share our faith, worship, do good because we want to get in with God. God brings us in with him through Christ and so we want to live in such a way that brings him honor.

Does your life reflect the name on the bottom of your foot?

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