Define

It has been quoted over and over the words, “defining moment”, or statements like, “A defining moment defines you or you define it.”, what is missed most often is that there are two completely different statements with those two words. The first statement deals with the idea that when events of magnitude happen in your life they are “defining moments”, this is true. Who we are is made up of the things that happen to us and around us throughout our life. Defining moments are sort of a mold. God gives us life in the image of him and we are perfect, then outside forces begin to ding, crack, and reshape our form. In this sense, I would say that yes “defining moments” do regardless of our intent define us. The origins of the word define comes from the Latin word DeFinire, which means to limit, restrain, or set bounds to. So if we are constantly being bound by moments in our life then what options do we have for freedom?
The second statement within the two words “defining moment” deals with what happens after the moment passes. When people set their minds to the idea that the things that happen to them will not define them, they begin to focus in the wrong direction. The focus is so strongly willed towards not allowing these outside forces to affect them that they end up being infected. Look at the statement that “All things happen for a reason”, this is not a biblical statement. God says that he will use all things for his glory. Life happens, and we have to understand that. Yes, God can choose to be in control but he does not. He gave us free will, so he put himself in charge and us in control. Simply put, it’s a trade off. If we wanted everything to happen for a reason, then we would not be able to have freewill. Because with freewill comes the idea that our actions can affect those around us. We have to change focus from not allowing these moments to affect us, to allowing ourselves to be shaped in the ways we choose to be shaped.
We have a good handle on the thought that stuff happens to us, and that stuff shapes us. So now it’s back to after the impact. Something has happened, usually something bad, but occasionally something good. Learning of salvation is a good defining moment, a child’s birth, or a career change. A lot of the time we think a defining moment has happened but it ends up not being so, and most of the time these moments happen and we don’t realize it, and every now and then it shows up like an atom bomb on your front porch. You cannot control any of it, except your reaction after it occurs. This is where the statement “defining moment” clearly splits to a before and after.
When a “defining moment” begins to define who you are, is at that second when you
begin to align your identity with that moment. You, in a sense, become that moment. For
instance, when I was diagnosed with diabetes I allowed it to become my identity, and once I did that I became comfortable with it and allowed it to control me, instead of me controlling it. It took 10 years to reverse that initial reaction. We begin to accept the life this identity builds for us and we quickly find ourselves trapped. After 10 years and countless hospitals and doctors, I finally took back control and allowed God to help me find me. “Me” doesn’t worry so much, has a strong faith, and a desire to change the world. It shouldn’t take ten years to see what aspects of your life control you and where in your past those moments are when you aligned your identity with a moment. The Father’s Word gives good directions on how to retain your “ME”, and move out of those “defining moments”.
Yes, events in our lives do define us. However, our reactions to those events define who we become.
J. Cole