I want to talk to you today about your person hood, and who it is you are. Many Somalis believe that their identity is wrapped up in their clan. They believe they are who their clan is, or who their family is. Many Somalis cannot think of themselves as someone different from who their community is, it’s just the way it is.
Many Somalis cannot separate their own personhood from that of their clan. That is why it is very difficult, even today, for many Somalis to believe that there are Somali Christians in the world. I recently told a Somali about our website, and they said they would check it out, but when I spoke to them a month later, they said they didn’t go and check it out because they didn’t believe that there are Somali Christians in the world. They thought I was joking.
That is how powerful this community sense of identity is: a Somali has a hard time believing that anyone could be different from who their clan is, or who most Somalis are. But I will tell you again, and it is a fact, there are Somali Christians in the world.
I want to say that you are not your father. You are not your mother. You are you. You are a different entity, you are a different person, you exist as a separate human being. You have feeling, and thoughts, and you can choose what to believe, and you can choose who to believe in.
There was a man named Saul in the Old Testament, and he was the King of Israel. He was a very powerful man. Whatever he said, happened. And there was another man named David, and God told David that he would be king. When Saul heard about this he got very angry, and jealous, and he wanted to kill David. Saul did not want anyone else to become King.
Saul also had a son. His name was Jonathan. And Jonathan loved David more than he loved his father. Jonathan was not like his father, and Jonathan was not his father. And neither are you. You are your own person. And you can choose to love Jesus Christ more than you love your clan. You can choose to love Jesus more than your own earthly father. The choice is yours.
The Bible says: “David finished talking to Saul. After that, Jonathan became David’s closest friend. He loved David as much as he loved himself.” Jonathan and David were friends.
The Bible also says: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother” (which is the firstcommandment with a promise), 3“that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on the earth.”… and I encourage you to do that.
But the Bible also says: ““If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.”
The Bible also says: ““We must obey God rather than any human authority.”
We are to honour our mother and father, but that doesn’t mean that we listen to everything they say, and do everything they tell us to do. Even as adults, we are to honour, and take care of our parents needs, but we are not to obey our parents if that means not obeying God. We have to obey God more than we obey our parents. We have to love God more than we love our parents.
The Bible says: ““‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’e 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’f 40The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
So you would be wise to love your family, you would be following God if you love your clan. However, the Bible says that we are to love God and obey Him above and beyond our love and obedience to our clan and our family. In this sense, you are not your father. If your father doesn’t believe in Christ, then do not follow your father in this. Do not be your father in that. If you want to be saved, then you would be wise to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You will be saved if you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and if you obey God above obeying what your mother or father tells you to do, if what they are telling you to do means that they are telling you not to honour or follow God.