Who am I? I am a daughter and sister, but not always a great one. I love my family dearly, but I am pretty bad at remembering to call regularly and check in on how everyone is doing. I am a professional, usually. I work hard at being a good leader and example, but too often I allow myself to fall into idle gossip and complaining. I am an American, but not the best. I consider it a privilege to live in this country, though I frequently fail in my civic duties.
Who am I? I am independent, sometimes. I take pride in providing for myself, but I enjoy periodically visiting my mom and having her wait on me or do a load of laundry or two. I am generous-ish. I find great joy in discovering the perfect gift for a friend but have passed by more than one person in need without offering a hand. I am wise, generally. Friends often turn to me for advice, but I am far from infallible and have made more than one serious misjudgment.
Who I am is complicated and confusing. In the quiet moments when I am forced to confront my failures head on, I am inevitably led to ask, who am I, really? Can I still be called professional while spreading negativity? Can I call myself generous even in my most selfish moments? Am I deserving of the adjectives I heap upon myself? Maybe. Maybe not.
Then, who am I? I am forgiven. While I was still a sinner, God sent his son to die on a cross for me. I am an heir. God promised that he is elevating me from slave to daughter and views me as a co-heir with Christ. I am a baptized child of God. Without my consent, in the depths of my sin and depravity, God reached down and marked me as his own in the waters of baptism.
The evil in my heart that manifests itself in hundreds of ways each and every day does not change who I truly am, at least not the part that truly matters. The extra fluff that I want to use to express who I am will always be measured in parts and percentages. But as Rev. Paul Koch reminded us in last week’s episode of Ringside, “whatever you feel, whatever emotions you’re going through, those things don’t change what God said about you and what he did when he called you. That you are a baptized child of God means something. That promise is yours, and that happened to you, and that’s your identity. These other things that happen in life, they don’t get to define you ultimately.”
Who am I? In my brightest moments and in my darkest hours, in calm waters and stormy seas, in the inescapable tug of war between saint and sinner, I am who He said I am…I am His.
This article is a brief examination of one of several topics discussed on this week’s episode of Ringside with the Preacher Men. Listen to Rev. Joel Hess, Rev. Ross Engel, Rev. Paul Koch, and Tyler the Intern, joined by special guest Scott Keith, the Ron Swanson of non-profits, as they duke it out over postmodernity in our culture, why America is the Benjamin Button of nations, whether nostalgia is healthy, homogenous churches, and what your baptism has to do with your identity on the latest full Ringside with the Preacher Men episode, “A Postmodern Pandemic Still Needs the Gospel”
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