Tag Archives: personal relationship with Jesus

Finding Myself

Grace 101

 

I am loved.  Jesus loves me, this I know.  It’s such a simple message, but it shines its light to the very core of our being.  Jesus brings the reality of God to my life.  He tells me who I am.

The One in charge of all things, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, loves me.  There is no why or how, there is just the simple fact of His love.  In relationship with Him, I find myself.  I am someone who is loved.  I am special and valuable and worthy—all because of Him. 

You see, it really doesn’t matter what I think of myself.  Most of us think worse of ourselves than we should, I suppose.  Some think too highly of themselves.  But I will never consider an identity I have chosen for myself to be valid because identity needs confirmation.  Identity is established in relationship.

When I look past others like me because their perspective is too much like my own, and I look past the untouchable ideas of the Universe or Nature or, in some cases, God, because I can’t hear their judgments of me—then I still look for a Person.  That Person is Jesus, God in human flesh.  There is so much about Him that I do not and can not understand, but I know that I can live in relationship with Him.  He accepts me and I discover who I am.

I am who I am in Him.  Chosen, loved, accepted, valued—that’s me! 

The search for identity is fulfilled in relationship with Jesus.  Please notice that I say nothing about religion or faith or performance.  When I see Him as a Person and understand how He sees me as a person, that’s when it all begins.  Religion can give rules and doctrines, but not a relationship.  Many who claim to be His don’t know Him.  That’s what He said would happen. 

But to those who come to Him, to those He gives rest.  “Come unto me all you who are weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)  That’s what He said.  Rest from work?  Hardly.  Rest from spiritual striving?  Sure, but there’s more.  This is rest for our souls.  Rest from the search.  Rest from the unknowing.  Rest from the fear and anxiety of wondering who we really are.  The answer is found in Him.

Please also notice that this answer is not something that can be found outside of Him.  You might discover what He thinks of you, the fact, but it will not satisfy until it is found in Him.  Identity is lived in relationship. 

In Jesus I found myself.  I finally learned the truth about who I am.  Now—if I can but remember—I can live forever in peace.

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A Person

Grace 101

One on one relationships are difficult for those with identity problems.  That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Narcissists, for example, often do very well in crowds or groups but struggle in personal relationships.  The famous line from Linus in Peanuts is, “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.”  We understand that.  Individual people, persons, can be very difficult for us to enjoy.  Individuals test our identity.

Basically, this means I can be whoever I want in a group.  Groups require little from my identity.  I tell them who I am.  They might not accept me, but they don’t challenge my assertions about who I am.  But individuals expect something more from us.

When I put myself out for you to see, I expect you to do the same.  But if either of us is lying, the relationship is false.  You may not be dealing with the real me.  In a group that probably doesn’t matter, but in a marriage or almost any kind of personal relationship, it matters.  People, individuals, want to know the real you or me.

I think it is fair to say that a group is an idea.  A church or a club or even a family is a structure that defines the accumulation of individuals with a certain purpose or attribute.  But a person is something real, something substantial.  Dealing with a person is what defines us.

Now, I am going to step out on a limb here.  I think it is very easy for us to keep God in the place of an idea.  God has all kinds of attributes and we can say that we relate to Him sort of generically, but it is difficult for us to find our identity in relationship with an idea.  Understand that I am not saying that God is simply an idea.  I am saying that it is easy for many to think of Him in that way.  In fact, I think that much of constituency of the church thinks of God as nothing more than an idea.  He is the source of standards, judgment, provision, protection, and more—but they don’t really have a relationship with Him.  He is distant in much the same way as a group is distant in their minds.

But Jesus is a person.  There is something fundamentally different in God presented in Jesus.  He is personal.  He is an individual.

And in Him I find my identity.  I am who I am in relationship with Him.

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Filed under Grace 101, Relationship, Theology and mystery