Who Do You Think You Are?
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
1 John 3:1 (NIV)
‘How do you do?’ This is the standard introduction in western society. It is often followed by ‘and what do you do?’ These are pleasantries adopted by us in order for us to get to know people. Often we identify someone by their occupation: ‘he’s an accountant, a grocer, a truck driver.’ We need a label by which we can pigeon-hole individuals – to form judgements. We use these labels for ourselves to impress, they are essential for our vanity. Dr Meg Barker, a lecturer of Social Sciences at the Faculty of the Open University, states ‘it would require a massive shift in human psychology not to need labels at all.’
Dr Barker is absolutely right; the human nature in us all will continue to label people until the Holy Spirit teaches us differently. This is the massive shift necessary, one we are unable to undertake without the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said there is only one label that we need—to be called children of God. What other identity could supersede that! “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” (Romans 8:14)
In Antioch the label ‘Christian’ was given to the followers of Jesus Christ, and it was not a compliment, used by non-believers to describe the followers of Christ, it was an epithet of derision (see Acts 11:26). Initially the word ‘Christian’ was an adjective. Occasionally today the adjectival word is used as a term of scorn by those who have yet to know Him.
Undaunted, as Christians we are honoured to bear that holy name, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11) Our holy label should need no introduction; people should be able to see it in our daily lives as we interact with them. Mystify them by not reacting or acting as human nature demands, but with Christ-like compassion and kindness. Now that is a label that one day will give joy to the world!
Father God, we are not worthy of the adoption you have made possible through Jesus. Even so, you love us and have given us your name. Thank you so much for our holy identity. Help us to cherish it by glorifying you in all we do.
Study by Irene Wilson
About the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.
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