The Truth of You Identity
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” - 1 Peter 2:9
I really love it when an idea, theme or word shows up in multiple places within a short span - it helps me to pay attention, because more than likely, God is speaking!
Well, here’s the latest one!
During our study time on Monday night at Session, the idea focusing on the positives was brought up. One of our elders told us that in school, as a teacher, it was their job to speak 9 encouraging words for every one “push” (I assume they were referring to a corrective action). When they did this, it reinforced the good behavior and they experienced more success with their students!
It came up again at home, where I recognized that I could stand to do better at this with my own kids, focusing on their good behavior, encouraging them for what they are doing well, more than focusing on where they messed up. Low and behold, without being asked, one of them emptied the entire dishwasher because they wanted to help out their siblings!
Yesterday, as we gathered around for our staff meeting, we read the words of Bob Goff, from his newest book Everybody Always, “Instead of telling people what they want, we need to tell them who they are… We’ll become in our lives whoever the people we love the most say we are.”
On Sunday, we talked about the fact that upon creating humanity, God said “very good!” And yes, we’ve been captured by this disease of sin, and there’s nothing we can do to earn God’s favor or forgiveness… but that’s as much about our lack as it is about the fact that God has already granted us favor and forgiveness! God has already, in Jesus, removed our sin from us, looked on us with an everlasting love, and declared that we are God’s dearly loved children!
I think, within the church and outside it, we should probably take a cue from Jesus, from Paul and from Peter. In his first letter to the scattered churches, Peter makes this beautiful declaration - you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Does he give them instruction on how to live? Absolutely! But he makes sure to let them know who they are, giving them a road map forward that frees them up to live into what he declares they are.
Friends, do not allow the hurts and hangups of this world to sidetrack the truth of your identity. God declares that we are his beloved children. Peter affirms that we are chosen, royalty, holy, special and crafted so that we might praise God, who has done such great things for us!
Believe it. Repeat it. Live into it. It’s true!
Welcoming people to Grow in Jesus,
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