This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus. [2 Timothy 1:1 (NLT)]
This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. [Titus 1:1 (NLT)]
“I am….” How would you finish that statement? I recently came across an Internet article by Mark Papadas in which he posits, “How a person finishes that statement defines who they are, their beliefs about themselves and the world, and the standards they live by.” While we commonly say that people will live up or down to our expectations, Papadas writes that, in reality, they will live up or down to their own expectations and adds that people rarely give conscious thought to what it is they expect from themselves.
The Apostle Paul certainly knew who he was and what he expected of himself. I wonder if the rest of us are that clear about our identity and purpose. Who am I? Am I a wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker, writer, volunteer, photographer, retiree, senior citizen, or friend? Yes to all but, while those words may describe me, none of them define me. We’re not our roles, resumes, paychecks, pasts or pedigrees and we mustn’t let those define us. We’re human beings and not human doings.
Who am I? I am a child a God and a follower of Christ. As such, I know He expects me to love Him completely and my neighbor as myself. As a child of God, what do I expect of myself? I should love God and man, repent and forgive, study God’s word and pray, be part of the church and spread the gospel, live an upright life and do God’s will. I want to be as much like Christ as humanly possible. Can I live up to my expectations? Probably not completely but, with the power of the Holy Spirit, I can sure try. Why? Because I am a child of God.
What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God. [Hans Urs von Balthasar]