‘Tis the Season to Be Busy

With one of my clients, the subject of coaching has turned to discipleship. A one size model does not fit all, that is one major structural hurdle. Another hurdle is the obstacle of busyness. What does it mean to be a disciple in a busy culture? People are too busy to attend a group or a workshop. Perception is that there is not enough time to read the Bible, or slow down to pray, or to be still and listen for the voice of the Father. What is true for those we observe is also true for us. We all live in a culture that demands busyness. To be still is not just counter-cultural, it is cause to be labeled lazy or unproductive. This view pervades the workplace, at home, on vacation, and – very sadly – this perception is common in our churches. Now we are entering the season where demands upon our time amp up even more. Being busy, having a never ending to-do list, saying yes-yes-yes, is a product of identity. It is an attempt to cover feelings of worthlessness with productivity and affirmation. The decisions we make are based on what we value. Our values are a function of where our identity is rooted. If you are empty before the Christmas season, then the coming weeks will present many opportunities to perform or accumulate or generate affirmation. It is hard (or impossible) for an identity apart from God to say no to new possibilities. For the church leader, this season is a minefield of comparison and expectations. Services to reach the lost and programs for the devout on...

The Three Temptations of Identity

Jesus knew who he was. More to the point, Jesus knew whose he was. His humanness, his place, his purpose, his affirmation all came directly from the Father. Early on this secure identity was evident. After their days long search of Jerusalem for him, Jesus answered his parents frantic questions with “didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49) Fully human, Jesus’ identity was rooted in communion with the Father. It is that identity that was the basis for the behaviors, decisions, and ways of relating to others that we see in the New Testament accounts. In Luke 3:22, Jesus received the blessing of the Father “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Not only was this declaration of truth a confirmation for those who witnessed it, but it was affirmation and approval for Jesus. It was well timed. The next scene after Jesus receiving affirmation from the Father is of him being led into the wilderness where He would experience three temptations to his identity. Twice in Luke 4:1 – 13 satan begins the test with “if you are the Son of God…” – if you are indeed who you think you are and claim to be, then prove it. In between, Satan challenges the Father as source of Jesus identity by saying “if you worship me…” – if you put your worth in me, I will give you what you need to sustain your sense of purpose and place. Remember, the three questions of identity are: what do I do?, what do I have?, and what do people think of me? They are related to the desires for control, security, and affirmation that are...

Gain Perspective. Live Well.

Close
loading...