Whose I am

Humility maneuvers me out from under the weight of constantly evaluating my own performance. It's freeing and exhilarating. It is "thinking of myself less." Stepping into the question of who I am according to God, His Word says things like "chosen," "elect," "heir." I don't want those labels to throw off my jam. Humility is a slippery fish. It's a virtue you pray for, and you hope no one notices it for fear it will vanish if they point it out. Developing cancer before your twilight years offers a fast-track to the pedestal platform.

The Sovereign and Everlasting One who gives me those impressive labels as a believer in Christ - let's trust Him again a little more. Let's remember humility was His idea, not mine.
Philippians 2:5 "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!"

We are called "children of God." John 1:12-13 A child's personality starts with very little form. Little strangers they arrive. To his community his best definition comes by identifying to whom he belongs - Joe's son. His parent lends his characteristics to that tiny child until the little one grows to define himself. So our Father does the same. We are lost, shapeless. He lends us the cloak of His identity calling us His own. Then He grows us into the likeness of Christ, giving us a place in His body. It is His action, not our inherent merit that defines us as His child.

And so it is with all of those titles: they point to what He has done. Ephesians 1:4-6 He loved us. He chose us. He decided to adopt us. He is the actor in all these events, not me. He is always the Initiator. I am responsible just to respond.

"Redeem" means "to recover (something pledged or mortgaged) by payment or other satisfaction." It assumes an inherent value before the act of redemption. What was my inherent value that He chose to redeem me? This feels a little risky. Genesis 5:1b "When God created man, he made Him in the likeness of God." A print is a likeness of a great painting. The paper has no particular value outside of what is placed upon it. Adam's clay had no particular value until God placed His likeness upon it. He is the First, the Last, the Same. He was the Initiator in creating us, just like He was the Initiator in redeeming us.

Rejoice. His Word confirms my hope that I really can be free of striving to actualize my own inherently valuable identity. At the root of it all, the inherent value that is in me, in each person, is only that which He gives us. He redeems that which is already His, His image, for His pleasure because of His great grace.
Isaiah 43:1
But now thus says the Lord,
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine."

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