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. And because I don’t share many similar views with the people of that country, 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 tries to answer. Many do find their answer in their home country. However, TCKs tend to not really know, and this can be frustrating for them.
But for us Christian TCKs, it’s different.
Because the Bible tells us that our identity is in Jesus Christ and our citizenship is in heaven.
Our Identity: If We Don’t Belong, Who Are We?
As TCKs, we’re unusual. 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 understand us because we’re different. We can get so wrapped up in the fact that we’re different that we can be defensive. We can have self-pity because we don’t belong or get rebellious when people refer to our passport country as home, since it isn’t to us.
Where is our identity first found? Are we first TCKs or first Christians?
The answer is straightforward but important. First and foremost, we belong to Jesus.
Citizens of Heaven
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:20–21 ESV
The verse reads, “But our citizenship is in heaven.” We conclude that we don’t belong here. Our community, our citizenship, and our home are in heaven.
Most Christians aren’t TCKs. Whether they are Canadian, Kenyan, Turkish, or Singaporean, they’ve grown up in the same culture their whole lives. They have roots, culture, and ethnic or patriotic communities. And they have a sense of belonging.
However, none of us truly belong here because we’re not of this world (John 17:16). Instead, 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 KJV
This passage comes after the “Hall of Faith” as many people call it. It lists the numerous heroes of the faith from the Old Testament. They all sought a better country. A heavenly country. A country where every nation will come together and will be one people. God’s people. Citizens of heaven.
What Our TCK Lives Teach Us
I think TCKs have an advantage. I’ve heard many TCKs call themselves “global citizens.” Christian TCKs, however, 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 with someone who has never left their town.
And just think about it! A place where all ethnic groups, cultures, and languages will live together as neighbours, praising God! Is that a comfort to a TCK soul or what?