Defining oneselfThe question that spans the ages ... Who am I?
Another blogger asked this question today, in terms of moving beyond labels and titles .. I pondered it briefly before answering the question for myself. It's simple, really ... but very complex, and pretty darn awesome.
I am a daughter, a sister, a mother and a wife. These are roles I fulfill. I am conservative and libertarian - I choose to uphold the principles, moral values and traditions upon which this country was founded, and must continue to adhere in order to thrive. But these roles and labels only apply to my worldly existence, and matter not one bit in the end.
14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
Throughout the New Testament, believers are told to live in the world, but not to be of it ...to not be a part of it. Our earthly realm is ruled by Satan, and this passage says that because we have given ourselves to Christ, we are not ruled by Satan, not slaves to sin, nor are we bound to earthly things. As we become more and more like Christ, we are less and less interested in the world around us. The less there is of *me* the more there is of Christ in me.
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
So, back to the original question, who am I? I am nobody. I am a worthless sinner. Nobody of any value at all. Ideally, the essence of *me* is gone, done and dead. There is a better way to live, a better life ... that is through Christ, and Christ through me. As He died for me, I die so He can live through me. I will conform my life, my thoughts, my deeds and my words to that of Christ, and it is not my face that I present to the world, but His. I will not take part in the sins of the world, but instead reject that for a holy and righteous existence, which is a gift to me from God. While I live in this world, but not of it, I must stand as a light to spiritual darkness, a beacon to those who would also be saved. And living in the world, I can enjoy the things of the world, God's beautiful creation, without immersing myself in it, taking pleasure from worldly things, not to satisfy myself but to give Glory to God who made it.
That brings me to the next question, what is my purpose here? What is the meaning of my life? Simple ... to worship, give praise and glory to God; to live in His Will, and to accept the awesome Gift He gave to us all ... the sacrifice of His one and only Son, who died so that we could be washed clean of our sins and enter into His Kingdom. All He asks of us in return is to give our lives over to Him.
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
If you have ever wondered what Christians are supposed to do, how to act and live, Romans 12 is a good place to start reading. Just start there and keep going. I recommend the book of Luke to start reading about the story of the life of Christ, then the other three gospels. There are lots of Bible resources online - I like Blue Letter Bible, Bible Gateway, Bible.Logos.com and the ESV Study Bible. If you want a Bible that you can hold in your hands and read, I will buy you one. A few hours of reading can completely change your life. A gift is being offered to you ... the gift of eternal life in the Kingdom of God, free of charge. All you have to do is accept it. How awesome is that? You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain ... so why not?
Submit to thy husband?? Whaaaat??
What does God promise to us? (It's all in one little verse!)
... and something inspired by the Book of Esther (which I am studying now)