This was helpful to keeping the societal ‘mores’ in place. If you complied with the societal mores, you were honorable and dependable. If you didn’t, you were shiftless and fickle.
In that world, the societies often believed that success was based on the group’s (a whole culture, a city or even a unit as small as a family) ability to please a god. Christians went against this more. Thus, new Christians, no longer went through the rituals to appease the gods? Life got difficult.
Suddenly, everything that went wrong was their fault. They were no longer appeasing the gods, and when bad things happened, everyone knew that the gods were mad.
Why do you think that Paul spent so much energy helping people to find their new identity in Christ? Could this be part of the ‘riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints?’
Sometimes, we see ourselves based on our screw ups and failures in life. When we are successful in life, we feel like we are worthy. When we are a failure – well, devastation is our middle name. When other people like us, we are important. When we feel abandoned, we have lost our importance.
Through Christ, God has a different perspective. When Christ paid the price on the cross, anyone who accepts him becomes part of God’s family. This means that we are judged by different standards. No longer do our mess ups matter. Those are covered by Jesus. Instead, God sees us for who we are – the person He created for a purpose.
God made you for a purpose. You don’t have to see yourself based on your success or failure. You can see yourself as God sees you – perfect and acceptable. A son or daughter of the Creator of the Universe. You have the ability to be whatever God has called you to be – regardless of your past. Regardless of your present.
Sometimes it is tempting to look at ourselves in light of our un-done-ness. When we look at ourselves this way, we think that we will succeed someday. Someday, when I get things organized. Someday, when I shake this habit. Someday, when I have more time. You are being and doing now. “Someday” is usually an excuse for avoiding today. What, then, should we do while we wait? Get to know God. Learn to see yourself the way that God does.
Daniel had a lot of reasons to think that ‘someday’ life would get better. He was an official in Babylon, but he was also a slave. He had no choice but to serve the kings of Babylon. What would have happened if he saw himself the way that others did? He would have died young. Instead, he saw himself the way that God did, and despite his circumstances, He lived with purpose. He became because he lived.
Today, take a look at what your life is about. Are you waiting for ‘someday’? Are you beating yourself up for the past and letting other’s opinions dictate who you are? Have you discovered your new identity in Christ? Are you looking for opportunities to live on purpose today?