This post was originally a guest post (written by me) on my friend Clarissa’s blog. You can find it here.
When someone asks you where you are from, what do you say?
My answer looks something like this: Well, ethnically I’m from X country, and both my parents are from there. But actually, my dad grew up in Y country, and I grew up in Z country.
I have a passport from a certain country, therefore I am its citizen, but I’m not very patriotic. I don’t share many similar views with the people of that country. Thus, I don’t feel like I belong there.
Instead, I live in a different country. I adore it immensely, love the people, and yet I’m not its citizen. I don’t belong there either.
So where do I belong?
That’s the question every human being tries to answer. Many do find their answer. However, TCKs tend to not really know. This can be frustrating to them.
But for us Christian TCKs, it’s different.
Because the Bible tells us that our identity is in Christ, and our citizenship is in heaven.
Our Identity: If We Don’t Belong, Who Are We?
As TCKs, we’re different. Some people love that, and others hate it. We can tend to find our identity in our TCK-ness. We try to tell people that they don’t get us because we’re different. We wrap up who we are in the fact that we’re different. As a result, we can be defensive. We can have self-pity because we don’t belong, or we can get rebellious when people talk about our passport country as home, simce to us, it isn’t.
Where is our identity first found? Are we first TCKs, or first Christians?
The answer is pretty simple, but it’s important. First and foremost, we belong to Jesus.
How does that change our relationships?
If we belong to Jesus, we love others who belong to Him as well. That includes the person who hasn’t left their town their entire life. That includes the person who seems to know nothing about the “outside world”. That includes the billionth person who asks you how life is like where you live.
We love them completely. Christ gave His life up for billions of people who can never understand Him. He is God, and we’re not. If Jesus could love like that, we need to love others who honestly, can understand us more than how we could understand Jesus.
Citizens of Heaven
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Philippians 3:20-21
The old english meaning of conversation is the place where one lives (Online Etymology Dictionary, 2020). In Greek, conversation is politeuma, meaning community or citizenship (Bible Study Tools, 2020). In the context of this verse, the idea is that there are two spheres: the earthly world, and the heavenly world. Returning to the verse which reads For our conversation is in heaven. We conclude that we don’t belong here. Our community, our citizenship, our home is in heaven.
Most Christians aren’t TCKs. Whether they are Canadian or Kenyan or Turkish or Singaporean, they’ve grown up in the same place their whole lives. They have roots. They have a culture, an ethnic or patriotic community. They have a sense of belonging.
But the thing is, all Christians are citizens of Heaven. None of us truly belong here. We have a better Home.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
– Hebrews 11:13-16
This passage comes after the “Hall of Faith” as many people call it in Hebrews 11. It lists the numerous heroes of the faith from the Old Testament. The passage is talking about them. They sought a better country. A heavenly country. A country where every nation will come together and will be one people. God’s people.
What Our TCK Lives Teach Us
I think TCKs have an advantage. We don’t belong, anywhere really, on this earth. I’ve heard many TCKs call themselves “global citizens”. However, Christian TCKs don’t belong anywhere on this earth. Being a Christian TCK is a blessing. Because we’re not attached to any country 100%, we long for a better one. Thus, we can comprehend better that our citizenship is in heaven as compared to someone who has never left their town their whole life long.
And just think about it! A country where all ethnic groups, all cultures, all languages will live together, as neighbors, praising God! Is that a comfort to a TCK soul or what?
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