“While the quiet voice of God whispers that we are deeply loved, we continue to search for an alternative. We move from person to person or event to event, trying to satisfy our craving for significance. . . . But even if we obtain the objects we pursue, they prove feeble and unreliable substitutes for the stable identity that is ours when we come to know Jesus.”- Jeff Manion
“In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”- Ephesians 1:4-5 (NIV)
On Day 14 (“Remembering Who You Are”), Week 3 of Dream Big, Think Small, Jeff Manion tells about the third and final practice for effective journaling.
Practice 3: Identity. As Pastor Manion stresses, identity matters in cultivating a healthy heart. Thus, when you recall your identity as one deeply loved by the Father, that empowers you to love God and serve from a space of significance and security.
Consequently, Jeff usually signs off every journal entry with the phrase This is Jeff, your beloved son. Certainly, Jeff doesn’t do this as a reminder to God. Instead, Jeff needs to remind himself of his adoption as a child of God. Furthermore, Jeff points out, that’s the most true thing about who he is.
In addition, this practice of reminding is crucial. Because, as Henri Nouwen wrote, we seek our core identity from many other sources than God:
“Aren’t you, like me, hoping that some person, thing, or event will come along to give you that final feeling of inner well-being you desire? Don’t you often hope: ‘May this book, idea, course, trip, job, country, or relationship fulfill my deepest desire?’ ”
Finally, Pastor Manion exhorts, adding up your accomplishments fails to help you find your primary identity. Conversely, you also fail to locate it in the sum of your failures. Rather, you find your fundamental identity in your adoption as God’s child. As a result, we take small steps toward the waiting arms of our beloved Father.
Today’s question: What alternatives do you seek, even though the quiet voice of God whispers His deep love for you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Passion and excellence in serving others”