Every year dictionaries eliminate obsolete words like “pocket-handkerchief.” Unofficially, our culture devalues certain roles too. Exorbitant salaries of professional athletes and entertainers add to the confusion, when teachers, counselors, and care-givers take home checks amounting to less than a celebrity’s weekend away. Bad economic conditions make it a common occurrence to read articles about what careers are a waste and what pursuits are dead ends. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a philosophy major, a lot of people scratch their heads and wonder, “Is my place in the world valued?”
Do you feel obsolete? Have you fallen into self-talk about how your choices in life are worthwhile, meaningful, and noble? Or am I the only one? If we just look at the dollar signs, the world doesn’t do much to encourage us to pick up the servant’s towel, but God does.
The contrast of faith in the world creates confusion, even in “good church-going folk.” Do you wonder if you’re valued in this world?
A couple weeks ago, I came to a normally busy intersection and saw a blinking stop light as I approached. The typical order and efficiency of crossing traffic was replaced with hesitation, insecurity, and confusion. I muttered prayers for safety as I inched across, unsure of the other drivers and equally unsure of myself. I didn’t know my place in the world. None of us knew our place; it was a perfect set up for damage.
If you’re reading today, there’s a good chance you could use words like “sister, wife, church member, friend, co-worker, mom, leader, teacher, mentor, or neighbor” to describe yourself. By the world’s standards, all of those are humble. Fortunately, God isn’t interested in what’s outwardly impressive; He’s a heart watcher.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
With my new identity, I may still be a “sister, wife, church member, friend, co-worker, mom, leader, teacher, mentor, or neighbor,” but now my place in the world is as an ambassador of Jesus Christ. It’s all from God, who changed us and wants us to show and share His message of forgiveness and peace to the world. We have become God’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Today we’ll venture into the mixed up intersection we call life. People around us will need to see the Jesus in us. Now that we have a new identity as ambassadors of Christ, we can ask God to guide us and steer us as His own.
What words would you use to describe your identity in this world?