So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present of the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

1 Corinthians 3: 21-23

It is easy to get caught up in identifying with a person, for the people that make a difference in the way that we see the world are important to us. For similar reasons, it is also possible to identify with systems of thought or philosophies regarding the conduct of life. It is a part of what we are as people to seek out ways to frame in and to define identity by using identifiable and tangible points of reference as our markers for the boundaries of who we have become. There is nothing wrong with doing this unless the person or idea that is so selected becomes our final or ultimate source of both identity and of the wisdom that we are seeking to grasp onto and to follow after. Then, we have stopped short of God’s intent for us, and we have potentially entered into the area of worshiping worldly idols.

There is an order to our world, and it is one that God set out and that He maintains. It often stands is contrast to the worldly structure that we have developed for ourselves and that we often attempt to establish as superior to all other ways of viewing what is right and important in life. It just seems easier, more relatable, or less challenging to grasp onto something that seems to be more closely related to us and to the way that we might think that we would like to see our world and engage with it. However, these worldly views of what it means to live well and to do good are false economies that lead us into settling for less than the great potential that God has established for us, and they can take us far away from the grace, mercy, justice, and righteousness that Christ came into our world to make real and intimately proximal for us.

Christ calls to us to follow Him first just as He follows the will of the Father. When we do this, our allegiance is altered so that God’s view of the world becomes our filter for assessing truth and for determining what is right, just, and loving. At this point in our life’s journey identity, itself, is reframed so that we wish to be known as followers of Christ. There is real freedom to be found in this change in perspective, for it grants to us the ability to stand upon eternal truth as found in God’s Word as the basis for thinking, speaking, and acting in ways that stand against the ways of our world. We can care for others who are outside of the circle of concern that our society has set out, we are opened up to loving people that are viewed as outcast or as threatening by our world, and we are granted immeasurable grace in order to tender forgiveness to those who may have harmed us and to work toward redemption for all that is lost.   

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