Monday, February 6, 2012

Being Who I Am

When you read the first chapter of Genesis, verses 1-25, God creates different aspects of our surroundings.  Light, dark, the heavens, earth, the seas, all the creatures of the earth.  Each time, it’s noted that God considered all of it good.  Then, in verse 26, He decides to create man.  But He never says that was good.  Maybe because He already knew what was coming?  Indeed, we get to the Gospels and Jesus says “Call no man good.”  In Genesis 1:26, it’s stated that we are created in God’s own image.  But start with us as an imperfect being and it can’t be our perfection.  We like to say that we were created perfect, but only God is perfect.  From the start, we had one thing like God’s – our free will.  Like God, we could choose to do as we pleased.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t seem to handle that very well.  Adam and Eve preferred fruit to fellowship.  Moses needed anger management.  David had lust issues  And on it goes.

From the beginning of the Bible to the end, it’s clear that we have issues.  If who we are and who we could become were totally based on just ourselves, we’d be in deep trouble.  That’s the second thing we need to acknowledge if we’re going to be honest about who we are.  About truly connecting with ourselves.  The first thing we need to recognize is that God, being all seeing and all knowing, has a much better perspective on who we really are.

When Paul described our perceptions as being “through a glass darkly”, he was describing what were used in his day for mirrors.  Being a mirror, the image was already the reverse of reality.  Unlike today’s mirrors, the “glass” was some substance that you could see through, but still with some degree of imperfection.  And the backing wasn’t a silver-like coating that really reflected well.  It was metal that wasn’t necessarily well polished.  Paul was talking about a reflection that was poorly reflected, distorted by imperfections, reversed from reality.  Unlike God’s description of who we are.  But what else does God’s Word tell us about ourselves?

Deuteronomy 32:10 reads, “He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.”  That spoke of Jacob.  And, in essence, Israel.  Christian doctrine tells us God is “no respecter of persons”, and would lump us into being included as “the apple of His eye”.  Which, in theory, makes us important, too.  But even if you skip that theory as stretching the point, there’s a HUGE factor that proves our importance to God.  Jesus Christ!  The plan for His coming to earth as a man was laid out before we even existed.  The birth, life, torture, death and resurrection were all intentional before they were needed.  Who else do we know that would sacrifice a part of Himself for His creation?

Mankind has been so important to God that He created an eternal way out of our own mistakes.  And, perhaps because our own decision making capability was the one god-like thing we possessed, God still will not violate that.  We are too important to Him to be forced into a particular choice.  So, He allows us the opportunity to choose for or against His solution.  And for or against the consequences.  Even those who choose against God have the option to change their minds and accept that eternal sacrifice for their salvation.  Right up to the point where we leave this world.  Consider that.

For what we’re discussing today, connecting with ourselves, the all important source of information is God and what He tells us.  God’s Word shows us we are flawed, yet loved by God.  That’s enough.  But He gives our own witness and that of others to solidify that understanding.  We’ll look at those next time.  Till then, how is God showing you that He loves you?

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