Dutch Clergyman Henri Nouwen stated that, “Spiritual identity means we are not what we do or what people say about us. And we are not what we have. We are the beloved daughters and sons of God.” This is the only sure foundation upon which Christ followers stand, particularly through the vicissitudes of life on earth. Every day we are seeing wars and rumors of war, political upheaval, earthquakes and fires that are destroying countries and lives. People are anxious, depressed and even suicidal at younger and younger ages. King Solomon described the fleeting nature our time here, and the relative worthlessness of most of our pursuits in terms like ‘vanity and vexation of spirit,’ and ‘chasing after the wind.’
Apostles Paul and Peter categorized us as ‘strangers and pilgrims’ on the earth. We are traversing this world for a brief stay without even the wisdom or the power to pinpoint the exact moment of our arrival at birth, or our departure into eternity upon death. James said we are even prideful and presumptuous about the business plans we make for tomorrow and next year, when we don’t even know what will happen each day.
We have only been charged to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment: to represent our LORD as a citizen of Heaven while on this temporal terra firma. How would our lives change were we to really embrace this perspective on our identity? Might we be more engaged with laying up intangible treasures that cannot rust, wear out or be stolen? Would we be so consumed with the politics and issues of the world and of the church? Or would we be doing all that we can to offer the awesome privilege of knowing Jesus Christ to those who have not yet experienced the blessing of His love, grace and mercy?