Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How Do You Define Yourself?

Michael Horton and the guys at The White Horse Inn had another outstanding program that I thought deserved a link, so here it is:   The Parables, #5

One point they made was the importance of how we see ourselves or how we define ourselves.  For instance, when you think about yourself or are about to make a decision do you do so based first as an American or  according to your gender or whether you are white or black, young or old, rich or poor?  Of course, as Christians we should always see ourselves first as children of God, redeemed sinners and everything else should be secondary.  What we do should be done because we are servants in the kingdom of God and with the mindset that we are here to further the kingdom and glorify the Lord and not primarily for the considerations listed above. 

It isn't that these other situations are to be ignored.  Being a white American male or wife of a Mexican farmer are the situations God has placed an individual in but always to serve him in a unique way that few or none can do but you.  So if I am rich I cannot see myself as someone who has the world by the tail and my purpose is to have the maximum fun with my money while I can.  Instead, I am to first remember why I am here, Who gave me the money to begin with and that I am just as responsible as anyone to use what I have to honor the Lord.

We might take it one step further.  Suppose you were abused as a child.  You can't ignore or deny it but you must be careful not to define yourself as a abused victim all your life either.  God has given you this in his eternal wisdom to be used for his glory just as he gives riches to one and sickness to another.  It isn't given to let you off the hook in life and as an excuse to be bitter and angry at the world.  If you are a Christian it is your special "talent" (Mat 25:15  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Mat 25:16  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.)
that you are to figure out by God's Word how to overcome it and be a special tool for the kingdom. 

I know this is a big subject for a short article and I don't want to come across as if this is easy to do, but we have to consider the alternative if what I am saying is not true.  Then not just the "good" but the down right evil, awful, unfair experiences are beyond God's control and have no higher purpose.  If such awful experiences in our past cannot be used for eternal reward, then how is life worth living?  How we define who we are as humans is extremely important.

Here is a poem by John Wesley that I thought is a good example of how a Christian thinks:

I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,
exalted for you or brought low for you;
let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to 
your pleasure and disposal.

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