Are You Trying to be Someone You’re Not?

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved…

Colossians 3:12a (ESV)

Man overlooking lakeA friend of mine often reminds his children, “You are my children. I have given you my name. Honor it… and me. When you leave this house, you carry it with you. When you return, bring it back as good as it was when you left.” What a sobering consideration for a “Christian”.

When our twins entered their teenage years, Louise and I really tried to impress on them the importance of developing godly character. We found a plaque that emphasized developing a legacy and protecting the family name. We bought two and hung one in each boy’s room. Much like a Jewish boy would honor a Mezuzah when leaving his home, we prayed the boys would note this reminder when leaving their rooms.

The Apostle Paul often spoke about the importance of developing godly character. When addressing the believers in Colossae he reminded them that (we) are God’s chosen, holy, and beloved. He surely knew that our behavior only changes for the good when we are first conscious of our true identity. My friend Dudley Hall wrote an article on this subject, entitled “Remember Who You Are”. The following is an excerpt from Dudley’s excellent article:

Israel was chosen. It was not because of the goodness or size of the people, but because God desired to utilize them to demonstrate His glory. He initiated the relationship. They weren’t looking for Him. He set His heart on a people with whom He would make a covenant. He obligated Himself to their wellbeing. They would be His servants on earth to represent Him to the nations and to bring the nations to Him. He chose them. It was that choice that gave them an identity. They were God’s people. He would protect them and provide for them.

That distinction is now used for believers in Christ. They are the ones chosen. Jesus has fulfilled Israel’s role of priest for the nations. He fully represented God to the nations and took the sins of the nations upon Himself. He is the ultimate CHOSEN ONE. Now, He has granted that identity to those who believe in His name. It means they (we) have a unique destiny and secure purpose. Chosen people have a certain behavior that fits their calling. They must remember who they are.

Holy! It means different. God is holy. He is unlike any other person or god. It also means to be set-apart. His people are different. They have promises unlike any other. They have capabilities beyond mere fallen humans. They can display qualities that are unreachable standards for others. Their kind of compassion, humility, and kindness is of a different world. They are operating on the energy that raised Jesus from the dead. They can forgive atrocities that others can barely mention. They are holy because He is holy and He expresses His life through them. They will be frustrated if they try to accommodate the culture of the common. They are fitted and fashioned for great exploits.

Beloved is a word used to describe those captured by God’s unique kind of love. David, the king of Israel, was beloved. Jesus was beloved. John the apostle was beloved. It means there is a level of intimacy available because God has chosen to set his heart on you and me. Being consciously loved by God is beyond explanation. It is what every heart longs for. It is available in Christ. Our only hope of ever experiencing that kind of love is in relating to Jesus. The Father’s full love was shown to Him, and He has chosen to include us in the relationship.

Three simple words can make the difference in living in unspeakable joy: CHOSEN, HOLY, BELOVED.

Let’s remember who we are and Whose name we carry!

Personal Application

How does this verse speak to you about holiness? “…for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession.” (Deuteronomy 14:2)

Do you have times when you feel poorly about yourself? Are you depressed or feel despair? Remember, dear friend, you are a child of the King. You are chosen to be His son or daughter. Praise God! “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God…” (1 Peter 2:9a)

Suggestion for Prayer: If you have forgotten who you really are, take some time to remember.

Jim Grassi image and signature  Jim Grassi, D. Min.