From the Pulpit: Who am I?
Consider the lyrics to “Who Am I,” from “Les Miserables”: “Who am I? Can I conceal myself for evermore? Pretend I’m not the man I was before? And must my name until I die be no more than an alibi? Must I lie? How can I ever face my fellow men? How can I ever face myself again? My soul belongs to God I know; I made that bargain long ago. He gave me hope when hope was gone. He gave me strength to journey on. Who am I? Who am I?
We see who we are in others
“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 NKJV
My library reflects me. It displays my books, paintings, portraits, relics and trophies. They’re my treasures and reflections on life. I have learned that my library does not only echo me, but also those who visit. I am intrigued by the response of others. As I think in my heart, I am (Proverbs 23:7).
What I see in others is often my own reflection. The views of others cause me to ponder on how I see myself. We are judged by the things that we read or do not read, by things we consider art as well as art we consider things. The same applies to music, clothing, homes and interests.
If I am honest, my perception of others is who I really am. For now I see in a mirror, dimly Now I know myself in part, someday, I shall know, just as I am now known by Christ.
We see who we are in our imaginations
“Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NKJV
Emotions are honest; they express how one truly feels. They are as real as the heat of fire or the cold of snow. Right or wrong, they are truthful with regard to the passion of the senses. Bitterness, wrath, hate, lust, and the like are true emotions; they express the inherent carnality of a sinful nature.
“The works of the flesh are evident,” Galatians 5:19-21.
These vain imaginations are honest sensations – honest in that they express our fleshly emotions. They are the thoughts that are to be reined-in to the obedience of Christ. They are to be caged and repented of in spite of our feelings.
Never attempt to justify vain imaginations; confess them. When we do, He will be faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We see who we are in the Bible
“The commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” Proverbs 6:23 NKJV
The purpose of the law is to reveal who and where we are. The apostle Paul said to the Romans, “I would not have known sin except through the law.” (Romans 7:7). The commandments of God reveal the potholes in the roads of life. His law illuminates life’s pitfalls. His reproofs and instructions are the road signs of life’s highway. The wise traveler drives with his or her lights shining brightly, heeding and following the right road.
Therefore, we must obey the commandments and the laws of God. They are the GPS (God’s Positioning System) of life’s highway. We are to likewise listen with an ear tuned-in to the guides He has placed in our lives. This is the way of life. Ignoring these God-given signals or failing to heed the road signs will lead to a road you do not wish to travel or a place you will not desire to go. Here is what I have learned in my approaching seventy years of days: the roads that lead to destruction are wide and plentiful. “The Road” that leads to life abundant is narrow and straight. That makes it easy to distinguish from the broad roads of life.
(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)