Monday, January 30, 2012
Delighting in Anonymity for the Sake of Christ
That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"
Unlike other gospel authors, apostle John chose anonymity rather than identifying himself by name. Referring to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loves" wasn't just an act of humility but also of one of delightful endearment. John was celebrating the essence of his identity - the simple fact that Jesus loved him.
Too often I can end up locating my identity in all the wrong places
Sometimes I will locate my identity in personal performance - "top performer", "great father", "loving husband", etc... It's about how well I'm doing in all the roles I play.
On other occasions, my identity is found in my position - "project leader", "senior executive", "doctor", etc..
Often, the opinions and perceptions of others can form the basis of my identity - "respected", "wise", "smart", etc...
The problem is that all these pose a no-win scenario. For I find myself crushed emotionally when I do poorly, when I fail to live up to my own performance or when I fall short of what others may think of me. In those occasions, I'm often despondent and discouraged.
Even worse than a poor showing is a good one. Should I do well even for a brief season, it only serves to reinforce my misplaced identity, trapping me in an ever tightening grip.
My hope is to do as John did - to pursue anonymity for the sake of a better delight - to be known and loved by Christ. When stories that intersect our lives unfold, whether at work or in other spheres of life, how would you seek to be known and remembered? Would you be satisfied simply to be known as one whom Jesus loved?