Some of you reading this with children will now have an ear worm to that Disney song (for those who don't know, watch here). Sorry, yet the phrase is a good one to hold on to, ironically. When I was younger the church phrase that was used a lot was 'let go and let God'. Always easier said than done.
Letting go of our own perceived needs, wants and desires is easy to pray but so much harder to do on a daily basis. We are bombarded all around us with adverts and subtle signs that tells us that success, power, money and being sexy is what you need to have a good life. We see or hear somewhere between 300-800 adverts a day. They form the background noise of our lives. We are not immune to their subtle influences as Christians. They influence and impact us even if we don't want them to.
We need a strong and firm foundation in our own identity to see through and analyse the adverts that we see. Jesus tells us to 'let go' in John 8:32. when he tells us that 'then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free' So what is the truth? In an era where the phrase 'fake news' has come into the language, holding on to the truth of who we are is essential to navigating our daily lives.
Richard Rohr, Catholic priest, puts it like this;
'True liberation is letting go of our false self, letting go of our cultural biases, and letting go of our fear of loss and death. Freedom is letting go of wanting more and better things, and it is letting go of our need to control and manipulate God and others. It is even letting go of our need to know and our need to be right--which we only discover with maturity. We become free as we let go of our three primary energy centers: our need for power and control, our need for safety and security, and our need for affection and esteem.'
When we compare the cultural focus on money, success, power, sex, and security how does that compare to Jesus? Jesus was from a small town, not rich, didn't have money (women financially supported his ministry Luke 8:1-3), wasn't sexy (Isaiah 53:2) and was popular and also hated, didn't marry, didn't have any children, he didn't own a home of his own. So the question is, who are we following? Jesus or societies expectations?
Jesus was counter cultural for the time when marrying and having children was the norm. Jesus was able to remain strong because he knew who he was, where he was going, and what was waiting for him.
Do we know our own identity in Christ? Do we know and believe the promises of God that reassure us of who we are?
We are significant, secure and accepted. We are loved, restored, forgiven, unique, part of a family, never alone, holy and complete in Christ. We are worth dying for.
How amazing is that list? How often do we forget it?
How often do the influences of our culture and society around us shape and mould us?
Today remember who you are and let go of who society and culture tells you to be.
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