Something Better Than Your Inner Child

We find ourselves affixed in the Age of the Autonomous Self — self-discovery, self-help, and pretty dang selfish. 

The famous are our prophets.
The gospel message is self-actualization, self-achievement, self-dependence.
The mystery is finding yourself.
The sin is losing yourself.

This Religion of Self might be cloaked in Baptist language or Hindu karma or an American spirituality that eats, prays, and loves itself to our best life now, but it’s all the same. This solo quest of “finding my true self” or “being true to myself” or “recovering my inner child” is exhausting.

Don’t you ever get tired of yourself?

The Gospel offers clean air. Pure oxygen. Breathe deep.

For all the talk about the “self” in our culture, Jesus offers an even higher vision of you and the glory you are (and will be) .

Elect Exiles

Peter the Rock wrote a letter to a group of churches in what is now Turkey, and he calls them “elect exiles” — chosen strangers, saved and sent — this is your identity too. This is God’s vision for us.

This phrase “elect exiles” is key to understanding your whole life as a Christian. In just two words Peter describes our relationship with God and our relationship with the world; how God sees us, and our place in redemptive history.

Peter declares in two words what the Apostle Paul explains in two chapters to the Ephesians — namely, that we were chosen before the foundations of the world, predestined for adoption, and graced to do the works he sent us to do in a world not yet our home.

Elect exiles.

Elect. In his next chapter he’ll say we are “chosen and precious”. Who needs self-discovery when the Most High calls us his own?

To the world we are foreigners; but to God we are elect.
Culture may reject you; but you are chosen by God.
The world misunderstands you; but God knows you.
You don’t feel like you have a place; but God adopted you into his house.

Do you realize how much confidence that gives us? How much courage and comfort in the face of anything we can have? It’s stunning really if you think about it.

This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, Send, with the Good Book Company.