Posted tagged ‘Psalm 139’

Who am I?

July 8, 2014

Who am I?  I am not a country song.  I am not a member of the Walton’s cast.  I am not a character from Frozen, and I like my hairstyle just the way it is.  I am not a drink or a Pixar car.  I am not a Golden Girl, a Disney character, an exotic animal, or a member of the Star Trek gang.  I am not a position on the football field, or a flower, or a U.S. City.  I have never appeared with the cast of Friends, I am not a U.S. President, a superhero, or a vegetable.  I don’t need to take a quiz to find out how southern I am, where I should live, or how awesome my wife is.

I am, however, a creation of God’s design, fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).  I was created to praise my Maker (Psalm 148:5), and molded with purpose under His ordaining hand (Isaiah 64:8).  I am a child of God (John 1:12).  I am born again (John 3:3), sanctified wholly (1 Thessalonians 5:23), and blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).  I am justified (Romans 5:1), redeemed (Galatians 3:13), and Spirit-filled (1 Corinthians 3:16).  I am strong (Philippians 4:11), satisfied (Philippians 4:19), and content (Philippians 4:10).

That barely scratches the surface of who I am in Jesus Christ.  The apostle, Paul, summarized it well in His letter to the Corinthians:  But by the grace of God I am what I am (1 Corinthians 15:10).

 

Removing the Mask

November 1, 2013

Removing the Mask

By Steven J. Callis

              

               However one might explain it, they all just showed up.  A Power Ranger, a princess, a lion, a couple of bumble bees, a baby pumpkin, a football player, a gypsy, a politician, Batman, a cheerleader, Little Red Riding Hood – – there were so many, I could not possibly recall all of them.

               One thing they all had in common is that they had their hands out, expecting something from me.  Now, looking at that list, we might readily expect that attitude from some of those characters, but some of them looked too sweet and too cute to be so demanding.  Actually, those are the ones who did not need to ask.  They were so adorable, how could anyone not put a treat in their bags?

               It is fun to dress up, to be someone other than who we really are.  It can be refreshing to step out of character for a couple of hours and be someone else.  After all, how boring would this special treat night be if everyone dressed in their normal daily attire?

               Then, there is the morning after.  We are greeted with a double whammy: enduring our candy hangover, and then assuming again our true identities.  Well, that is what most people expect of us, anyway.  The mask comes off, the costume is hung in the closet, and it is back to the daily routine.

               There is a word that does not necessarily apply to our annual trick or treat event, but it does have to do with wearing a mask.  Our English word, “hypocrite,” is derived from the Greek word meaning “to act on stage; to play a part, or to pretend.” History tells us that actors would wear a mask on stage, and often the mouth of the mask would include a kind of megaphone shape to assist the player in projecting the voice throughout the auditorium.

               Today hypocrisy has to do with actions that do not support a personal belief system.  Whether it is a matter of insecurity, the desire for acceptance, or a number of other reasons, the result most likely includes the inability to experience genuine, interpersonal relationships with other persons; a sad and lonely way to live.  The logical progression will develop a mutual lack of trust between the mask-wearer and his/her counterparts.

               If you are one who may struggle to any degree with the feeling of low self-worth, or in thinking that no one else could possibly believe in you and accept you for who you really are, I encourage you give others the benefit of doubt.  Most people are not nearly as demanding as we believe them to be.  Knowing that you can be trusted, that your motives are pure, and that you are true to yourself goes a long way in developing friendships.

               And because I believe the Bible to be the Word of God, I take comfort and encouragement from Psalm 139, as the Psalmist perceives humanity from the perspective of the Creator.  I must wonder if these words of David are what inspired the familiar adage, “I know I’m somebody, ‘cause God don’t make no junk!”