The other day I was sitting at my computer doing some writing and feeling pretty much useless.
I was stuck with a bad case of writer's block. I was getting nowhere and felt like giving up when I got an e-mail from a surprising source.
This individual is well known in the community and very successful at their trade. The e-mail stated that although time was short, I was being requested for an important time sensitive writing assignment.
The author of the email prefaced their urgent request with a statement about how they valued my work and kept up with all my articles.
Shazzam! Just like that I was feeling pretty good.
I e-mailed them back and said although their request was a bit of a surprise and the topic was not in my field, I thought I could do it.
After hitting the send button, I sat back in my chair, stretched my arms out in front and thought, "I guess I am not that bad after all."
People I would have never expected to read my articles were doing so - and they liked them. Well, about five minutes after my reply, I got another message from the same person.
They were very sorry but the e-mail was intended for a completely different person and they apologized for any inconvenience they caused.
My emotional roller-coaster came slowly to stop and the safety bars lifted. So which one was I? Was I the lousy, frustrated writer before the e-mail?
Was I the sought after writer after the initial email? Or was I the stunned writer trying to catch my bearings after the second e-mail?
Well, I have to say that I am none of them.
The key to my identity crises this time was my confusion between the subjective view of myself I derived from my circumstances, and the objective reality of who I am in Christ based on his own word.
The former is rather unstable and subject to frequent oscillation by having an overly inflated or utterly deflated view of myself.
Thankfully God's view of me is not so fickle, or fickle at all for that matter.
We are told that God loved the world ( insert your name) so much that he was willing to send his son to die for us. That is an objective reality, not open to debate or interpretation, just pretty straightforward.
Compare that to the way Jesus addressed the women caught in adultery. She was dragged out in public humiliation before Jesus, who did not condemn or look down on her, but guided her to a better way of living.
Or what about the religious leaders of the day, who rather than being validated like they thought they should be by Jesus, were called on the carpet for being hypocrites.
In both cases, the subjective reality of how the woman and the religious leaders saw themselves was incorrect. God loved them both but neither was living in that reality. The woman felt unworthy and the religious leaders felt deserving.
In both cases they missed the truth of God. They missed that grace is a gift. They missed that he loves his creations and will to do almost anything to have us be part of the oneness that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have always enjoyed.
I say almost because he desires a relationship of intimacy and not one of slavery or forced acceptance. I can tell you this is the way God sees you, but unless you are willing to deny yourself and your own subjective image of yourself, you will never live in that reality.
Jesus calls for us to lay down our lives - that includes our own distorted views of ourselves.
Now excuse me, I need to get back to writing - regardless if anyone is reading!
? Todd Martin is a pastor with Harvest Christian Fellowship.