Saturday, July 26, 2014

Morning Reflections - True Identity

We wear so many hats and have so many identities based upon the things that we do rather than who we are.  Take for example the fact that I am a father, a pastor, a friend, a son, a husband, etc.  So many of the ways I am prone to self identify are based upon what I do.  Who am I?  Who is the real me?  Surely each of these things plays into my identity...or does it?

Brennan Manning, in his book, Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging writes these words, “Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” 

That's a profound, albeit simple, thought.  By placing my relationship with God first, and by defining my very existence by that relationship, my true self comes out in all of the 'things' that I do.  Yes it is true that I am a father, but without my relationship as one who is radically beloved by God, I believe I will never achieve being the father that God has called me to be.

I heard it put slightly differently on Christian radio once (I think on a segment called A Minute from the Message) where the broadcaster stated that, "our identity is not wrapped up in who we are, but rather whose we are."

If I can learn to lean into my true identity as beloved by God, then all kinds of miraculous freedoms can ensue by the power of God.  I can be freed from the bondage of self doubt, of unworthiness, and a host of other self-centered fears that tend to paralyze me in my relationship with God and others.

Today's prayer - Holy and gracious God, help us to rediscover, at the deepest possible level, our true identities as radically beloved children of yours.  Allow that reality to permeate all of the other 'identities' that we recognize in ourselves.  Permit that we may be so in tune to this truth, that the bondage of other people's opinions and our own self-deprecation just melt away.  Free us for joyful obedience and the experience of the fullness of your love in our true identities.  We ask this in the name of He who first loved us, amen.

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