A confused, middle-aged man flagged down a bus driver in Seattle. He wore expensive clothes and spoke French, German, and English, but he did not know who he was. He remembered slices of his life: living in Slovakia, teaching English in China, and last night’s sleep in Discovery Park, but he could not remember his own name.
The authorities researched the man’s story on the Internet, and within five hours they had discovered that his name was Edward Lighthart. But learning his identity did not get Edward out of the woods. He looked at an old picture and could see beyond a doubt that he was Edward Lighthart, yet he couldn’t make the emotional and psychological connection with his identity. He struggled to own who he was.
Many of us can sympathize with his plight. We know intellectually that we are the children of God, adopted by grace into His family, and yet we emotionally relate to our Father as slaves who must earn His acceptance by our own effort. We mistakenly suppose that our integrity or servant’s heart attracted God’s attention, and so we try harder in a futile attempt to achieve what we can only receive.
We hear that we have “become a new person” in Christ so that “the old life is gone; a new life has begun” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We read that our “body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19). We learn that “we died and were buried with Christ” (Romans 6:4). But we look at our sin and can scarcely believe it.
Like Edward Lighthart, we need to continue to look at our true picture. Don’t be misled by what you have or have not done. Embrace your true identity. Own it. Then ask God for grace to become what you already are.
The Lord did not set His heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! Rather, it was simply that the Lord loves you (Deuteronomy 7:7-8).
Write down words that you or others have said about yourself. Now make another list of what God says about you.