Know your identity in Jesus

It is very easy for bystanders to pass judgment on young people who make questionable life choices that eventually land them in some sticky situations.

Jan 20, 2023


By Carmel Dominic

It is very easy for bystanders to pass judgment on young people who make questionable life choices that eventually land them in some sticky situations. But the truth of the matter is, until and unless we know what is going on in their hearts and minds, their decisions will always baffle those around them.

Speaking from personal experience, it is very hard to know who to trust with our inner most struggles, lest we get a long and unnecessary lecture, or worse, be criticised and/or humiliated. Sharing our thoughts and struggles requires a lot of courage on the young adult’s part. While I was blessed to have found adults who listened to me with an open mind and heart, this helped me navigate through my issues. Unfortunately, not everyone was as fortunate as I was. Many, way too many, youth fall through the cracks and the enemy simply swallows them up whole. The most talked about issue of late is gender and identity, which is the very essence of who we are as humans.

The Holy Father was so burdened by the issues that are ravaging the youth that he convened a special synod to address these issues in 2018.

The main purpose of this synod was to identify the challenges that youths face and to offer practical advice and, of course, hope. Hence, the Bible Society responded to his call with the Youth New Testament Bible aptly named, Identity Identified. The Bible was launched in Malaysia at the Eucharistic celebration during the Solemn Declaration of the Minor Basilica of St Anne by Rt Rev Bishop Sebastian Francis and the Bible Society of Malaysia, January 8, 2023.

Rev Matthew K. Punnoose, the General Secretary of the Bible Society of Malaysia, said that the interactive and trendy Bible has 24 inserts and highlighted key passages within the New Testament that are designed to help youths navigate life’s challenges while understanding and securing their unique identity in Jesus. The Bible also touches on some very hard to speak about topics like suicide, depression, sexuality, sexual orientation and social media, to name a few. Youth will be able to get spiritually guided answers to their complex questions. The most interesting part of this Bible is that there are QR codes in the Bible that youths can scan that will lead them to a series of videos made by others who have struggled with the similar issues and found ways to cope.

The Pope has given his blessing for this Bible and the hope is that the youth will make this Bible their constant companion and have a personal, intimate and real relationship with Jesus. Because, when you have Jesus, you have everything.

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