"Without question, the mystery of godliness is great: he was revealed as a human, declared righteous by the Spirit, seen by angels, preached throughout the nations, believed in around the world, and taken up in glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16 CEB
Are you serious? No, I mean are you a serious person? Are you a practical joker who loves to make people laugh? Are you someone who loves to research facts and organize them in a way that will help people learn? Who we are is extremely important in life and knowing who we are is even more important. There has been a lot of research around emotional intelligence and how important it is for success in life. The physical source of emotional intelligence is the communication between your emotional and rational brains.i In essence, emotional intelligence is about being in touch with our whole self and getting the most out of ourselves. This has value for everyone regardless of what you do for a living. Who we are is extremely important and knowing who we are is even more important.
I believe that God wants us to know exactly who we are—in Christ. Genesis 1:27 tells us, “So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself, male and female he created them.” The psalmist proclaims God’s masterfully creative work, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14) We are all creations of the Creator God. We are people of sacred worth and children of God. It is out of this identity that we live and move and have our being. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “… it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
Over the past year the reminder of identity has played a big role in my life. As part of a leadership program in which I was participating, I read the following quote:
“Your task is not to become a leader. Your task is to become yourself, and to use yourself completely—all your gifts and skills and energies—to make your vision manifest. You must withhold nothing. You must, in sum, become the person you started out to be and enjoy the process of becoming.”ii
The goal is to become yourself—all of you. As a follower of Jesus Christ, the goal is to become who you are in Christ. We are to live more and more into this identity every day. To employ all of who God created you to be—all your gifts and skills and energies—to the glory of God. The purpose we have been given, and are created to fulfill, is to be an instrument of God’s grace as we lead more and more people to a growing faith in Jesus Christ. In this regard, every one of us has influence and is a part of leading people to Christ. Leadership is about becoming yourself—your true self as revealed in Jesus Christ.
I believe this is why Paul wrote to Timothy a reminder about Jesus when he wrote, “Without question, the mystery of godliness is great: he was revealed as a human, declared righteous by the Spirit, seen by angels, preached throughout the nations, believed in around the world, and taken up in glory.” The truth is Jesus is who he said he is—which means we are who Jesus says we are. You are the light of the world, a city on a hill, a witness to Christ’s love, a follower of Jesus, Jesus’ friend, a joint heir with Christ. You are to live and lead out of this identity. There is no one else who can do it the way you will. Be who Christ calls you to be and enjoy the journey of becoming more of you and more like Christ. Go out today and be yourself—all that God created you to be in Jesus Christ—and I guarantee you will be leading and you will have influence.
This Sunday we continue the message series entitled Influence: A Study of 1 Timothy. We will discuss the influence of leadership. I hope you will join us this week and every week as we dive into God’s Word. The best is yet to come at St. Andrew’s and I can’t wait to see you in church!
i Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Graves
ii On Becoming A Leader by Warren Bennis