Free to Be {#31 Days}

For not even his brothers believed in him.” ~John 7:5

With the political season fully upon us, scrutiny is the word of the hour. The private eyes are out; judgments are pouring in.  We like to get the dirt and then we will tell you who you are. I suppose this is one of the many reasons why I will never be a politician—you’d find way too many reasons to write me off.

It bothers me to put that in print. I want you to like me. I half want to tell you what you need to hear me say. Half want to snap on those paper doll clothes of pretension and look good for you.

I don’t like the idea of being me—just the what-you-see-is-what-you-get me—and having you look me up one side, down the other, and say “Nah. I was looking for something different. “

Consequently, this story in John 7 where his own brothers dismiss Jesus as legit really messes with me. What kind of home were Mary and Joseph running? After the wine and the other miracles, these bozo brothers don’t believe. I’d understand it better if the text said they were jealous. Talk about trouble following in your big brother’s footsteps. But not believing he is who he has been showing himself to be, well, that makes no sense.

It makes about as much sense as Jesus resisting the brother’s cajoling to get his butt to Jerusalem and make a name for him self, big city style. Me?  I’d be all over that. I’d have to prove myself.

For some reason—call it pride, call it stupidity, it’s all the same to me—I feel a need to be the person others tell me I can’t or don’t believe I could be.  You might also call it exhausting.

There is freedom in declaring, “That’s not who I’ve been made to be.”

There is an ache in my heart for Jesus—it’s a deep kind of pain to be disbelieved and rejected. There is an ache in my heart for the brothers—they are so proximately close to Jesus and yet, so relationally distant. Why is it so hard for us to see God at work in those to whom we are closest?  Why is it with these ones we are most apt to suffocate them with our misplaced expectations?

But I also read these words with a huge sigh of relief. I am free to be who God has made me to be. I can say no. I can accept misunderstanding, rejection, and the disappointing of others. I can look outside the sting of today’s confronting moments to a time in the future where the legacy of who I have been created to be supersedes the fear of not being all that others want me to be.

Jesus was nobody’s fool. Sizing others up, being whom they needed him to be to make them feel better about themselves. He was who He was declared in God to be. No more. Never lose. Alleged only to the plans and purposes of his father.  Love him or leave him, he was who he was {and is}.

We can be too.

It’s true—many will rush to judgment or just rush past too busy to care about who I am. I won’t be the first. If his own brothers misunderstood my Lord {when he was God!}, I surely will be too.  He was dismissed and rejected by men; bathed in the baptism of critique and judgment. Yet, accepted and cherished by his father; anointed with the oil of his approval and calling. So too are we.

We are free to be. Just.exactly.who.he.made.us.to.be. No more, no less. Love us or leave us, we are free in Christ to be. Because without Jesus, we are just a hot mess of captive to everyone else’s expectations.

Be free indeed!

This month I’m participating with The Nester in her 31 Day challenge to write every day on a topic of choice. I’m writing this month on how Jesus make us free. Because without him, we’re just a hot mess of a captive.

2 thoughts on “Free to Be {#31 Days}

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