Do you feel you can’t be real with anyone? Take this free online course on the topic of secrets.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10, ESV)
I grew up watching Popeye the Sailor cartoons. He would sing, “I am what I am and that’s all that I am”. How would you fill in this blank, “I am _______________”?
Some may name their profession. I am a counselor. I am a teacher. I am an accountant.
Some may give their names. I am Mary Smith.
Some may list their role. I am Sarah’s mother. I am Ian’s wife.
Some will describe their appearance or ethnicity. I am redheaded. I am Latina.
Some will admit their faults. I am fat. I am depressed. I am an alcoholic.
Whatever is at the forefront of our minds will likely dictate how we answer. It is how we define ourselves. But, how many of us would say first and foremost, “A child of the living God who is forgiven and loved”?
Paul was not part of the first group of handpicked disciples. In fact, he had been one of their main persecutors. But he doesn’t deny his past—the good parts or the bad. Instead he states that God has covered his past with His grace. God took Paul with all of his experiences, education, ethnic background, and beliefs to mold him into the bridge between the Hebrew and Roman worlds. Through Paul, who was both Hebrew and a Roman citizen, God spread the Gospel throughout the Empire and beyond its borders. Paul was the perfect man for the task in spite of his flaws and mistakes.
Our gracious Lord does the same for each of us. Whatever you are today, God’s grace can not only cover it but use it to His glory. Don’t let all your past experiences, mistakes and your triumphs be in vain. Give all your talents, failures, desires and dreams to the Almighty. He knows you better than you know yourself, and loves you even more.
Precious Father, I am your creation. You know me inside and out, and knew me even before I was a twinkle in my mother’s eye. You know my faults, my failures, my good points, my successes and my past mistakes. But you also know my potential. Only You can take it all and make good of it. Today, I place myself in Your hands to use me as You will to Your glory. I am what I am, because I am Yours—forgiven and loved through Your Son’s sacrifice on the cross. Amen.
Question: The next time someone asks, “Who are you?”, how will you answer?