One of the things I dreaded most with the start of a new school year or the gathering of a large number of people was the time of introducing yourself. I don’t mind speaking in front of crowds. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I enjoy it. However, what distressed me about these mandatory greetings was that we were normally asked to share something interesting about ourselves.
Maybe it’s just me, but it was at these times that I forgot all the things that make me me. I overthink the entire process, and I ended up saying something that didn’t truly capture who I was or what I was like. Then, defeated, I would return to my seat and feel like a failure. A bit drastic, I know, but it’s true.
Sometimes it can be difficult to piece together not only who you are but how you are. I’m not talking about the passing phrase of “Hey, how are you?” “Oh, good. And yourself.” “Yeah, fine. Thanks.” No, I’m talking about how we are as we are.
Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created male and female in His image. At the dawn of earth’s creation, God breathed life into man and formed female to reflect His glory and strength, His beauty and majesty. This was the original plan for how we were to be. In intimate relationship with the Father and Creator and to have perfect peace between the genders.
When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve’s decisions, God’s intent for how mankind were to be was ruined. No, He was not surprised by our choices. He knew what His creation would do, but He also wanted to give them a choice. The Father will never force us to be in relationship with Him or to love Him. One day every tribe, nation, and tongue will bow in His presence and worship Him, but not everyone on earth will choose to pursue His heart during their lives.
Colossians 1:13 reads, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son”. We were born into sin, but as Christians we are rescued and transferred. We have been pulled out of the pit of our sin and set into a life of freedom, hope, and purpose.
Christ did it all. We can never be good enough to earn His grace. We can never say enough to turn His ear or receive His affections. But He lavishes them all upon us with abundance. Not because we were entitled or deserving but because He is forgiving and merciful.
Once we realize and remember where He has saved us from, I believe our attitudes toward God and toward others will change drastically.
How were we? We were dead in our sins. We were living without fulfillment or faith. We were oppressed by the evil one.
How are we now as followers of Christ? Redeemed. Set free. Hope-filled. Forgiven. Made whole.
This is not in and of ourselves but through the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). How are we to live in light of this truth?
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)