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Who Do You Belong To?
Canceled by the world, embraced by the Almighty.
One of the most helpful thoughts for these evil times is to meditate on whose you are. Who do you belong to? Who do you represent? There is an answer beyond yourself, despite the lies of the spirit of the age. And that answer is one of life’s most stabilizing forces. It is a guiding principle that will not only comfort you psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually but it will help you practically conduct yourself the way you are supposed to.
Many of us have experienced this at the family level. I am a Diaz. I tell my kids they are part of the “Diaz Tribe,” and they are to act accordingly. A lot is packed into that simple phraseology. We have clearly defined values as a family. We are Christian. We are to love and be joyful. We are to be peaceful, kind, and gentle, bearing one another with gentleness and forgiveness. We are to be charitable and generous. We exert restraint and self-control, among many other things.
Even when my children act contrary to the values I have instilled in them, I can simply go back to them and say, “That is not how we act in this household.” The standards we have set give us a framework of understanding. “Yes, you spoke to your mother that way, but that is not who you are. You know better.” “Yes, you slacked off, acted irresponsibly in your obligations at work or toward friends, but that is not who you are.” “You fell, it’s okay, pick yourself up. I am here for you. You can do better next time.”
The same principle is helpful to us as we seek God’s wisdom on how we are to navigate our times as a society. The world often presses on us demands that perplex us. When challenged or attacked, dissed or disrespected, society demands certain reactions.
Faced with cultural or political choices, the spirit of the age has set a standard we are to follow in order to gain “credibility.” It is true that Americans especially pride themselves in having “choices,” but the reality is that the age demands a certain choice if you are to be accepted.
The Christian should always remember we are Christ’s, as the Apostle Paul explained in 1 Corinthians. “[We] are not [our] own; [we] were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19b-20a).Our sufferings, for example, are always a great test of faith. We must remember to suffer as one who belongs to Christ. When we mourn, we “do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Why? Because we belong to Christ. The next verse explains what that entails here, “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Whose we are gives us footing, an anchor, a stabilizing force in the midst of chaos.
Paul goes so far as to say we are to become fools as far as the standards of our age. “If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise” (1 Corinthians 3:18b). Why then do you worry about what the world thinks of the choices you make as Christian? Of course, they despise the fact that you do not embrace the unbiblical gender confusion they demand you accept if you are to be inclusive enough for their standards. Of course, they despise that you hold to marriage as instituted by God and a profound mystery pointing to the relationship of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32).
Men as the head of the house? “Ha!” Saving yourself for marriage? “You fool!” Having a high regard for every human life, including the unborn, as created in the image of God? “It’s 2023, boomer.” Hard work? Honesty? Modesty?
Now I’m looking to get canceled, aren’t I?
Well, sure, canceled by the world, but embraced by the Almighty. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” (1 Corinthians 3:19). We are Christ’s. Plant your flag high. Do not hide it. Are we to fear mere men? (See Matthew 10:28, Acts 5:29). Are we to live in fear of our circumstances? (See Psalm 46:1-3).
No, we are to remember at all times and in every situation that we belong to Christ. We live as those who are His. We act as those who represent Him. We strive to govern our households, communities, states, and even our nation as those who are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
We do not let the world confuse us or divide us, no matter how clever its schemes. We are humble enough to acknowledge that only God is God and He can (and usually does) surprise us with His plans for the world (See Isaiah 55:8-9). We only say a hearty “Amen!” when He chooses our leaders (See Romans 13:1). We learn from the examples of Scripture, as when Peter rebuked Jesus predicting His death (See Matthew 16:22).
Most times, God’s ways are “crazy” by worldly standards. We must get comfortable with that. We belong to Him.