I am an Asian American but I feel as if I am the middle of two cultures. Although it’s been 20 years since I first landed in the United States, I still feel like I am not American enough. But at the same time, I feel like I am not Asian enough, either. I am an Asian American. More specifically, I am a Korean American. But who am I really?
The Bible tells us that God is the creator, and we are created in His image. Psalm 139:14 says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” We are His image bearers.
But what do we see when we look at each other? Rather than seeing the image of God, we see brokenness and the stain of sin. Rather than God’s glorious creation, we see corruption.
Why is that? Because of sin. Sin separates us from God. God’s image bearers cannot bear His image anymore. So rather than seeing the glory of God in each other, we see the impact of sin prevailing in all creation.
My Asian identity is for this lifetime only, but my identity in Christ is for all eternity.
But God made a way to restore our broken identity. God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to take our sins which marred His image in us. Because of our sin, Jesus Himself was rejected. Isaiah 53:3 says, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
Jesus was not recognized as the Son of God. Rather, he was considered to be “cursed” because He died on a tree. In Galatians 3:13, Paul quotes Deuteronomy 21:23 in saying “Cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree.”
Jesus took our identity that is broken because of our sin, and He bore our sin for us. He bore our shame and guilt. He died in our place.
But that is not the end of the story. Jesus Christ continued the story of redemption, restoration and reconciliation through His resurrection. He conquered death. In Christ Jesus, we are given a new identity.
In the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Additionally, 1 Peter 2:9 says “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
The broken image of God is restored perfectly in Christ Jesus.
I may not be 100% American, and I may not be 100% Asian. But I am 100% a child of God. I am 100% the bride of Christ. My Asian identity is for this lifetime only, but my identity in Christ is for all eternity.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was adapted from a podcast by Sammy Joo, Asian Ministries consultant with the Baptist state convention. Watch the video or listen to the podcast.