February 20, Sunday

UpdatedToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on August 31, 2014.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“My Identity”

Col. 3:11

“Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”

In my last Sunday blog, we read about the frustration of an American-born Asian American co-ed who got tired of being asked, “Where are you from?” or told, “You speak English very well.”  She even added, “My little brother takes pride in the fact that he can’t pronounce his Korean name at all . . . and he refuses to hang around with Asians.”  

Obviously, this sort of differentiation can take its toll on the psyche of Asian Americans.  For some, this affects their mental health, causing anything ranging from simple unhappiness, to alienation, or even denying one’s ethnicity.  They may see discrimination by the dominant society as being the result of the failure of ethnic minorities to fully assimilate themselves into the mainstream American society.  Another reaction is to enclose oneself within the social boundary of his subculture, largely out of fear of interacting with Caucasians or other races: He accepts discrimination as a fact of life and may not even seek employment in the mainstream sector.  Is there another option?  Yes, there is.  As believers, we can live in the world neither as ethnically defined individuals nor as a “white wannabes,” but as Christ’s followers.  

Ultimately, our identity ought to come from what God thinks of us.  We are not defined by what the society says about us, but what God’s word declares.  What is the implication of Jesus’ declaration that “to all who received Jesus, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (Jn. 1:12)?  Being given such right is a great privilege, hence, why should we feel ashamed due to what men, an entity much less significant than God, think?  Since God is happy to call us His children, we neither have to act any differently just to please certain people nor do we hide in fear because of them.   

Ultimately, in Christ, race, gender, and class differences are made irrelevant.  Instead, as God’s new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), Christ’s followers are uniquely equipped by God’s word and the Holy Spirit to implore the sinners of all races, genders and classes to “be reconciled to God” in Christ (2 Cor. 5:20); and then work together to bring about a society that reflects God’s kingdom (Matt. 6:10; Rom. 14:17).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to be deeply rooted in my identity as Your child who has been adopted into the family of God through my faith, which was a gift from You, in Christ. Let that affect all that I do, think, and feel.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 56