See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)
“You haven’t changed a bit.”
That statement is more of a social platitude than a real observation. It can function as a complement or an insult, but either way, it’s not accurate. Some things stay the same, eye color, the way you laugh, or what you laugh at (my level of humor isn’t much different than it was in middle school). Hair color probably changes a bit. I notice more salt in the pepper lately. Some things might even be generational, behaviors picked up from parents and passed along. All this leads us to two key questions.
Who are you? What is your identity?
That snippet of scripture is part of a larger passage that represents something transformational happening in a person’s life. God, as divine parent, teacher, and instructor, demonstrates what is right, and as the children of God, we’re meant to observe and pick up that lifestyle for ourselves. Just like you’ve gleaned certain behaviors and necessary life lessons from those around you, influential figures throughout your journey, so too does faith impact your existence, as this character of God is meant to become inherent in our identity and our behavior. Who we are, each of us, or the type of person we each desire to be, drives our motivations and how we act. Basically, what we do, the way we interact and behave, reflects who we really are.
At the core of your existence, with your connections and relationships, is the truth that you were designed to be a child of God, to embody those righteous elements of faith and pursue godly qualities in the world and within yourselves. In relation to our own experiences of growing up, moving from childhood to adulthood, it tends to be in hindsight that we recognize the changes. Perhaps, in the moment, you didn’t know it was happening, but a transition took place. It’s much the same in being a child of God.
A vital component of answering those questions, while we live our lives here, in this space, is to discover who we are affects what we do. John affirms who we are. We are children of God, and he insists that we live up to our identity. This self-awareness isn’t forged by our own efforts and ambitions, but an identity gifted to us as children of God.
As children of God, who we desire to be should be likened to the traits of God, desiring the change God will create in our lives, changes that draw us closer to God and those characteristics God would draw from within us. Who we all are, defined within the core of our existence, our truest and best identities, is defined by our being loved by the Creator and loving him in return. It’s this type of love, that godly, righteous, unconditional, agape love, that will motivate us to become the people God wants us to be.
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