Monday, September 14, 2015

Retaining an Identity

Lectionary Passage: James 3:13-4:8

What does James mean when he tells us to submit ourselves to God in verse 7?

Submission is not a popular concept in American society.  We think of it as losing and no one likes to be thought of as a loser.  This leads us to associate weakness with submission.

If we seek to be more Christ-like in our lives, this does cause us to mute those parts of our lives that would be contrary to God's will for humanity.

Do we imagine that submission to God involves a violent
suppression of our deepest selves?
For instance, I might be in the habit of raising my voice in anger to others when I disagree with them.  Does shouting down an opposing view help to promote peace or does it make me a bully?

It might be important for me to submit this angry reaction to God and to work with God to develop better responses that are more in line with how we might imagine God interacting with us.

I don't believe that becoming Christ-like means that we give up our own identities.  It doesn't mean being absorbed into the Borg or becoming unthinking robots.

I believe that the wide variety of our different personalities expresses God as creator as well as anything.

Rather, submission may have more to do with trust.  If I trust in God fully, I may not experience anger quite so quickly.  If I see my needs being met in God more readily, I may not be as selfish or greedy.  If I find joy in the deep and abiding peace of Jesus Christ, I may find that my joy in other things is more expansive.  If anything, we find our truest selves as we deepen our relationship with God.

I'll be exploring this more in this Sunday's sermon.  We are now live-streaming our 11:00 am worship service and so if you can't join us in person, you need only an internet connection:

I hope you will join us if you are not otherwise committed!

In Christ,


Photo by Scott Finkelstein [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

No comments:

Post a Comment