DayBreaks for 5/23/18: Defining Ourselves
From the DayBreaks archive, May 2008:
Just who, by the way, do you think you are? I mean, who ARE you? I know some of you by name, some only by email addresses, and some of you are close personal friends. But if someone were to come up to you this day and inquire of you, “Who are you?”, how would you define yourself? And how would others that you know define themselves?
There are those, atheists and agnostics and some of the intellectual elite who might resort to biological classification to answer the question: “I am a homo sapiens.” They wouldn’t be wrong. Others, who might be a bit more technical and who find that giving the obvious answer is too boring, might say something like this: “I am a featherless biped,” i.e., a two-footed walking creature that walks upright without feathers. When you think about it, that’s not inaccurate either. Off hand, I can’t think of any other two-footed creature that always walks upright other than humans and birds. So, that’s a valid definition, but decidedly less than exciting.
Christians have a different perspective, hopefully. If someone asked you who you are, I’d hope that you’d say something about being made in God’s image. You might delve into what that means and the implications of it, and that would be good.
It seems, however, that when it comes for us to respond to what God calls us to be and do, that we tend to define ourselves at the lowest possible level – we define ourselves minimally as “featherless bipeds,” and we’re content to live with that rather that to be maximally defined as being constructed in the image of God and living in that reality.
What difference does it make how we define ourselves? If we are featherless bipeds, and if that is all we really are, then it really doesn’t make much difference how we define ourselves. But if we are maximally defined, then God certainly expects something more from us than He does from a sparrow or starling.
To be made in His image means we have great obligations, great opportunities – and great possibilities. The question is whether or not we will live up to them!
PRAYER: Help us understand, Father, the great privilege and honor You have placed upon our shoulders. Help us to also realize that it is You who gives our lives definition – and not we ourselves! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.