The Main Focus: Identity
The answer to the question about who we are greatly influences how we live and what we live for.
• Key Passage: John 1:19-28
• Scripture & Discussion:
- [Mentee] Who are you? (John 1:19)
- How does John respond? (John 1:20)
- Who is he not? (John 1:21-22)
- What does he say about himself? (John 1:23)
- Why does he say this?
To live in a way that exemplifies a proper understanding of who we are, is to live in a way that seeks to point to God first, particularly in the person of Jesus. Choosing to utilize the natural talents and position we have been given not towards an exaltation of self, but an abdication of the throne of our lives to the rule of Christ. The following quote is Ray Lewis’ post game speech following the 2012 AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots:
God has never made a mistake, it ain’t about one play.
This year, we did what we were supposed to do, we fought as a team… There will be one Super Bowl champ crowned at the end of this year, that’s it. So the way we feel, somebody gonna feel like that tomorrow, and somebody gonna feel like that in a week. That’s a fact. And the fact is, we gotta come back and go to work to make sure we finish it next time. That’s all we gotta do.
Joe, you played your (butt) off. You hear me, man? I’m telling you, man, don’t ever — don’t ever — drop your head when it comes to a loss, dog, because there’s too much pain outside of this that people are really going through. This right here makes us stronger. Let’s understand who we are as a team, let’s understand who we are as men, and let’s make somebody smile when we walk out of here. We got the opportunity to keep going, men. Let’s be stronger as a team, men. Let’s be who we are.
-Ray Lewis MLB Baltimore Ravens
Lewis begins with God and His sovereignty, and moves to present realities and understanding of who we are. (Looking to the Passage) John the Baptist demonstrates a posture of humility in his response, and here Lewis does likewise in the face of defeat. Our identity cannot be rooted in merely our talents or position, but in the giver of those things. The cross frees us from our distorted image in who we claim to be, by crushing us in who Christ came to be, thus enabling us to image God in the way we were meant to by His grace. Whether in much or in a little, Christ gets the glory.
• Practical Questions:
- What roles or talents do you have that are God given?
- How can you point to Jesus in or with them?