Are you like me, and sometimes forget that you don’t own anything?
I forget sometimes that everything I have is on loan and that God is the one who has given me good health, a beautiful family, genuine friendships, an apartment decked out with stuff, a car, his Word, the privilege of living in America, and the ability to use my gifts and talents every day.
It’s easy to be self-focused and think that I have what I own because of my own hands and abilities.
But God says that all I have is from his hand. James 1:17 says that Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Yesterday, I played with my son on the floor for an hour. I watched him carefully place his toys and various objects in the trash can. He would then look at me. One by one, he played this game by himself. He was serious and focused. I laughed over and over because it was so cute. I loved watching his expressions and movements as he learned a little bit more about life.
And it occurred to me once again, that his little life is a gift that I must continually give back to God…
Upon making the great move to Dallas a few years ago, experiencing the culture here is like nowhere else I’ve lived. What you wear, how you look, what you do, and what you drive is valued above who you are. In our downtown apartment community alone, I can count at least 30 Lexus’s, mercedes, bmw’s, hummers, and jaguars (all owned by twenty and thirty somethings). So yes, the kind of car you have is important.
It seems like in other places, you just don’t see this. At least that’s what our friends say when they come to visit. But why is it that we love to place our identity in what we do or in things?
Perhaps it’s a security for us. It’s easier to find identity and meaning in those things rather than in Someone we can’t see. But what if we stripped all those things away, what would we have? What if people saw us for who we really are? Not what we do or what we drive?
I think we’d all be in for a real shock- to realize that we’re all pretty much the same even if the outside appears pretty: we’re all Messy people on the inside in need of a holy and perfect God.
Though far from perfect, that’s what I’m striving for when it comes to my real identity.