Friday, September 23, 2011

Who Are You?

What I do determines who I am. Whether it's an engineer, a teacher, a doctor, a painter, a carpenter or even a minister. We often find our identity primarily in our functions.

A secondary place we find our identity is in our relationships. A son or a daughter, a brother or sister, a husband or wife, a good friend and the list goes on. Where would we be if we didn't feel like we belonged to someone?

Yet in so many marriages today we limit our identity to our role and relationship with our husband or wife. We each need a special place of significance in our relationships. What happens when there is disappointment in one another? When a husband or wife does not live up to our expectations? There could be a silent war in the soul thinking I could be happier if he or she would only....

The constant battle in the Christian life is to look to something or someone else for my identity besides Jesus. That might seem like a "no brainer" to many of us professing followers of Jesus but I think the battle is deeper than we realize. It's not only deeper but it's daily. I am tempted every day to find myself in my world rather than in the gospel.

If it goes unchecked it will suck the life out of a marriage and even kill it. That's a pretty dramatic statement but I believe it's that serious. If you get in the habit of expecting your mate to meet your needs in a way that only Jesus can you will dry up and give up. Every day we are tempted to turn our eyes away from Christ. To find identity in what's in front of us rather than who has gone before us.

James, the earthly brother of Jesus, found his identity in Jesus not only as his brother but especially as his Lord. There was no earthly relationship that could compare. No one else was to be his life or Lord. James opened his letter with a bold statement of his identity. "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ..." He could have listed his many functions and relationships, including his brother Jesus but he wanted the world to know the relationship that transcended every other one.

Jesus as LORD.

Husband or wife - Who Are You? May today and everyday be one in which the Spirit of Jesus reminds you of who you really are. And may that identity be seen not only in your marriage but in every arena of your life.

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