It's Who Are You? - Not - Who Aren't You?
“I don’t drink or chew or go with people or do.”
This rhyme is stuck in my head. It makes me think of a typical way we often live.
“Who are you?” we’re asked.
“I’m someone who doesn’t drink alcohol or chew tobacco.” Or, I’m someone who doesn’t cheat or lie. Or, I’m someone who doesn’t steal, act lazy, or waste money.
We can replace “drink or chew” with all sorts of things we don’t do.
That can be helpful for learning how to live. (See raising toddlers and the Ten Commandments in Exodus chapter 20. There are a lot of thou shall nots/we don’ts in there.)
Yet this doesn’t seem like enough to define ourselves as children of God.
“OK. OK,” says someone to us, “You don’t do certain things, but who are you? What do you do? What do you create? What do you invest yourself in?”
The Ten Commandments begin with God saying he brought the people out of slavery. So, before all the don’ts the people know they have been liberated by God and are called to be a blessing to the world.
If you follow Jesus, and you know his story, how would you describe who you are?
Is most of it “I follow Jesus and so I don’t do this or that”?
Or is there something deeper that isn’t a don’t? “Because of Jesus, I’m creating this with my life.”
Deep peace in the Bible is not ultimately defined by an absence, a don’t. It’s not we’re peaceful because we don’t do war.
Peace is the positive spread of God’s love and care.
So, we’re ultimately people of peace because we seek to create something with life that spreads the positive presence of the Lord.
What is that for you?