Do you remember that ‘fun’ game of musical chairs? I never thought it was fun because I hated how someone was always left without a seat feeling like an outsider. How is that fun? What were we trying to cultivate in our hearts? The fastest gets the seat. Did that build or tear down relationships? This version of musical chairs still happens throughout our life, and it destroys relationships.
I’m understanding more about the value of the prayer that Jesus Christ prayed in John 17 “That they may be One, as You and I are one…” There’s security in belonging. There’s security in unity. There’s security in being in a tribe. You have identity. We are meant to have identity in Jesus Christ.
Our society chooses to identify in other ways too. We identify with favorite sports teams, we are encouraged to have school pride, and we even identify with the things we do such as public school or homeschooling. It doesn’t end there either. If you homeschool then it’s whether you homeschool with this curriculum or that. It doesn’t pose a problem, until we end up overidentifying with these things instead of focusing on the identity and unity we have in Christ.
As I reflect, it’s been like this for so long. I had to choose which group I would hang out with in School: the military base kids, the dancers, the athletes, or the scholars in the library. I was a floater. I hated to choose because I didn’t want anyone to feel left out. It’s painful to watch the youth go through this same scenario as they walk into a room and immediately cling to their friends while ignoring others.
Adults do it too. When I was pregnant the questions were if I would have a natural birth or c-section, bottle or breastfeed, cloth, or disposable diapers. Other questions included if I would work outside the home or stay home? Homeschool, public school, private school or unschooled? It’s healthy to have community and encouragement around these topics however, when we begin get offended when others don’t choose our convictions, we can begin to exclude people. We begin to lose the ability to know how to treat others that are not in our ‘identity’ group and ignore them.
This should not be the same for Christians. I can understand how the world clings to the things and identity of the world, but Christians—our identity is in Christ, not in what we do, but in who we know. Our unity is Jesus Christ. And when we meet people that are different from us and do not know Jesus Christ, we have an opportunity to introduce them to the One that has a seat waiting for them….
Glorify God. Magnify Christ. Edify the Brethren.
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”John 17:3
“And you were dead in your offenses and sins, in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together [j]with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace, you have been saved through faith; andthis is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:1-10