Identity

 

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”                                                                                                               

1 Corinthians 12:27

 

 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ

                                                                                    Philippians 3:20

 

I was with my boss and a co-worker and we’d stopped in an authentic Italian restaurant in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, jazzed about the work sessions we’d had with a vendor, and enjoying all that the city had to offer. We were sharing stories and wine and delicious food, when talk turned to our families and what they were like and how we got along with our respective families. My co-worker, who is much younger than I am, shared about his family in the valley, and said that his mom’s personality was similar to mine, and went on to share a story. I will admit that I halfway listened to his story, as I was more focused on what he meant by his mom’s personality being similar to mine. Now, I will admit that I can overanalyze with the best of them, and at one time, I was crowned the “quickest overanalyzer in the West”, beating out the best self-reflective cowboys of their time. “Did he appreciate my quick wit? My confidence and self-assurance? Was it my innate ability to see every typo, misspelling, or out-of-place pixel in a design? Or was it my quiet, introspection? My startling high degree of self-awareness?” All of these thoughts were tumbling through my head (all of these I share tongue-in-cheek). I so wanted to know what he meant by that, for while I could infer that it was a compliment by the way he said it, I was curious to know exactly what he meant, so that I could lock that nugget of information away, much like a squirrel does with its berries and nuts, storing them away for a later day. Like the proverbial squirrel keeping his for a day in which food is scarce so that he can provide nutrients for his body, I, too, stored such things away for the time I needed an emotional boost and could call to mind the kind things said about me.

 

I thought about it more the next day, and the next, not in an obsessive kind of way, but more in a self-reflective “how do I carry myself and come across” to people type of way. Taking it into the spiritual arena, I wondered if my spiritual walk properly reflected who I was in Christ, and who Christ is to me. Do I carry the love of Jesus in my heart when I talk to people? Do I live my testimony for all to see, confident that folks will have no doubt at all when they interact with me? I know who I am in Christ—can others see that?

 

Sadly, when I look back at the times I was at my worst “self”, or even if it didn’t get that far, I grimace at the realization that my Christianity is lost within the backdrop of the circumstances I was in, or the crowd I was with. Sometimes my actions detracted from the potential unrealized mission opportunity I was on; sometimes the words I said did not bring the glory to God that I intended them to.

 

I am confident in the fact that those situations occur less frequently than normal, and I am aware enough to strive to be more diligent to avoid being in the situations to begin with. Each day brings with it a whole boatload of opportunity and with the Holy Spirit’s conviction to guide me, I pray that I am able to match the outward person to the inward Christ-filled person, all to the glory of God.

 

 

Prayer Requests

  • For our government leaders at all levels, local and global, for them seek His will in all things
  • For those who with physical, emotional, or mental conditions (or some combination thereof), and their caretakers, family, and friends
  • For those with the church universal who are burned out in the field of service, who may feel underappreciated but feel that they can’t make a change without guilt
  • For those within the church universal who are lost

                                                                                                                       

So I’ve shared with you how I look at myself, and in just a few of the areas in which I fall short. My rhetorical question to you is… what about you? How do you think folks see you? Do they see or feel the love of Jesus in you?

 

Quotes

“God will convict you in order to change you, but will never accuse you in order to shame you.”

 

“The Bible is the only book where the author is in love with the reader.”