Who We Truly Are
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ
if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:15–17, NRSV
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, we are reminded of our primary identity: God’s beloved children. Now, the world tries to convince us that we are not enough, that we need more–that if we just a had a little more money, a little more fame, a little more success–then we’d finally be whole, happy and content people.
Yet as we know this never works. It’s like one of my favorite jokes that asks, "Who is more content, the man with $10 million or the man with 10 children?" Of course, the correct answer is the man with 10 children because he doesn’t want any more!
The good news is when we remember who we really are–when we remember that we are unconditionally loved, when we remember that we are God’s children with God’s grace–our entire outlook on life will begin to change. When we see ourselves in this new and different light, we will also come to see others in that same light.
During the dark days of the apartheid regime in South Africa, the Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, speaking to a group of white Afrikaner businessmen said, “My fervent wish for you is that one day you will come to know just how much God loves each of you. For when you comprehend that, you will be able to see how much God loves other people as well.”
With God’s grace, may we remember and embrace our true identity and reach out to others with the same love that God has already shown us, so they too may come to know God’s unconditional love and remember who they truly are: God’s beloved children.
Frey, William C., “The Dance of Hope,” pg. 138.