John 1:35-42: Relating To Our Self

Sermon preached at RUF’s Wednesday Night Fellowship on January 30, 2019. Who am I? What does it mean to be me? The names we are called (by our parents, on the playground) profoundly shape how we see our self and self-worth. That so much power exists outside of our control freaks us out. In a desire for autonomy and even self-protection, we try to make a name for ourselves. We do this primarily through our performance (e.g., resume building) and/or our preferences (e.g., being authentic). This approach has problems of its own: 1) if we attach our self/worth to our success (and failures) we feel good when we are winning and awful when we are not; 2) we can make ourselves judge and jury of our self/worth but we are our own harshest critic; 3) because we are made in the image of a Triune God, we are (by design) dependent on other voices telling us we are good, beautiful, etc. Attempts to create a sense of self/worth independent of the estimation of others is doomed for failure. This brings us back to square one. We need someone from the outside-in to instill in us a sense of self/worth. That is a lot of power to be sure, so we need to be careful who we cede that power to. Only God should have that right: 1) because he knows us better than anyone else (including ourselves), and 2) he loves us. He calls us child, friend, beloved, “mine.”