At different points in our lives we are confronted with different forms of the same question –
“Who are you?”
Often the question comes as a challenge to our competence. We are tempted to define ourselves by what we are able to do and/or how well we can do it.
Sometimes we are enticed to delineate our lives in terms how well regarded, received or "important" we are. The eyes and approval of others become our measuring stick.
Alternatively, we may be incited to understand ourselves and portray ourselves in terms of power – how much (or who) we can gain and control for our own purposes.
These three false measurements of identity are common to all of us. Different ones will be weighted in different ways, nuanced with different language and tailored to fit/attack our specific personalities and susceptibilities. However, these kinds of temptations are bait for the traps of pride or self-condemnation for all of us.
Which temptation bites more deeply...
When you consider your future, what do you think will happen?
Do you picture good things coming your way, or does the future feel somewhat bleak?
No one really knows the future. God rarely gives detailed insights into what is coming next. It seems that He wants us to rely on Him and not to become fixated on what will or won’t happen. This can feel disconcerting – and some become so concerned with knowing the future that they involve themselves in the occult, seeking dark powers for information about their future as if that will bring them security and comfort.
God’s Kingdom approach is quite different. He promises to be with us always; to never leave us or forsake us. His character is such that He can be trusted with our future, even though we don’t know what that future will hold.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)