By Revd Canon Libby Wilkinson
Diocesan Reflection – w/c 4 May (Children’s Council)
Be who God meant you to be,
and you will set the world on fire (Luke 4: 1-13)
They say that we learn most about who we are – what really matters to us – during difficult times, and I think we’re all doing that at the moment.
When we’re busy and life is normal, it’s easy to drift along not really thinking about who we are, adapting ourselves to circumstances, or being moulded by people’s expectations.
But, when the normalities of life are stripped away, we begin to discover who we really are inside. It’s not easy to look too closely at ourselves in case we don’t like what we find, or we’re fearful that we may uncover hurt and rejection; so the human tendency is to keep busy, to avoid the stillness of the desert because, in the desert, there is nowhere to hide.
At the start of his public ministry, Jesus went away into the desert on his own, leaving behind his family, his work and all the familiar things – and he went having just heard those fantastic words at his baptism, “You are my Son, the beloved.”
And it’s this identity that Satan attacks in the desert – “If you are the Son of God.” And Jesus’ response to all three questions tells us that he knows exactly who he is. His identity is secure in Go.
We’ve probably all met people who define themselves by their achievements or their roles in life. These are the people who come unstuck when failure hits, or they have to step down from whatever position has given them their sense of worth. They don’t really know who they are deep down. They’ve never faced the desert
If we know that we are children of God who follow Jesus then, even if we doubt ourselves sometimes, we won’t need to prove ourselves to others, because our identity will be secure in God.
Just like Jesus, we will derive our sense of self-worth from our relationship with our Father, not from what we do or what others think of us.
And here’s the good news – God knows the deepest parts of you and me that we don’t like to show, or daren’t discover – he knows it all and he loves us. There is no fear of rejection with God. And more than that, he wants to build us up to be the people he created us to be – and that, for me, is an essential part of discipleship, to understand more and more who we are in God and to see ourselves as he sees us.
Jesus knew who he was, and that gave him the strength and the resilience to carry out his God-given mission.
If we follow his example, then we can do the same. “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.”