Showing posts from March, 2013

I Am My Posession

Identity in Physical Things

Let's face it: physical things are seductive precisely because they are physical. We can feel their texture, see their shape and beauty, and smell their aroma. Biblically, we know that the most important things in life are unseen, yet physical things are stiff competition when it comes to what gets our attention and shapes our living. It's very tempting for all of us to define ourselves by the size of our pile of stuff.

We may not even realize the extent to which we define ourselves by the pleasures of the physical world. The three big ones here are food, sex, and leisure. Some of us are always trolling for the next best restaurant, continually being seduced by the "more and different" draw of sexual temptation, or willing to spend far too much time and money planning and buying a vacation.

Physical appearance can also control and define us. We live in a culture that has institutionalized the practice of being defined by our appearance. Is…

I Am My Righteousness

The past two weeks we've been looking replacement identities. We either tend to put our identity in our achievement, or we seek to put our identity in our relationships. But there's a third area where we're at risk:

Identity in Performance

In the early days of his faith, Joe was overwhelmed by the desperateness of his need for God's grace. He was seeing his sin everywhere, and he was constantly thankful for the daily mercy and patience of the Redeemer. Joe was also patient with the people around him who were struggling. He knew that they were essentially no different from him, and that he was only kept by God's grace.

As Joe continued to grow, however, something began to change in his heart. He began to feel as though he deserved to belong in the community of God's children. He was proud of his theological knowledge and had little patience for Christians who were "just too lazy" to really know their faith. He looked down on brothers and sisters who str…