Self-Made?

Day 329

Prayer for the day

Remember me, O LORD, with the favour you have for your people, and visit me with your saving help; That I may see the prosperity of your elect and be glad with the gladness of your people, that I may glory with your inheritance.

Scripture for the day

Ezekiel 27-29, 1 Peter 3

It has been said that he who claims to be a self-made man relieves God of an embarrassing responsibility. Yet the allure of making oneself continues to captivate us. Wouldn’t it be lovely, we think, to be one of those billionaires who has risen from poverty through gumption and determination? Wouldn’t it be great to be a person who is responsible for his own success? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to do it all ourselves, and to be able to take credit for it?

The scriptures, however, have no interest in those who would make their own way. Independence, the refusal to rely on anyone else (or acknowledge anyone who might be responsible) for our welfare is not only unscriptural, it is condemned as evil. Many of the prophecies of doom against the nations around Egypt are given because of their refusal to acknowledge YHWH God as the one to whom their success was owed.

The writer of 1 Peter exhorts the women to whom he writes to find their identity not in what they can create for themselves, outer adornments and jewelry. Rather, they are supposed to find their identity in those things that transcend outer beauty. These women (and men) are supposed to find their identity in a character of Christlikeness. They are supposed to recognize that who they are, and what they are appreciated for, ought to be their commitment to Christ. They are to live lives that are for Christ, and the life lived for Christ is to be what their true adornment and identity rests upon.

May you know truly who you are as a God-made person, rather than seeking a locus of identity external to who God has made you.

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