Uncovering the brilliance of true identity

Have you ever held a finely cut diamond in your hand and marveled at the beauty of its sparkling brilliance? Reflect for a moment on the origin of that magnificent gem. Deep in the earth, buried under tons of dirt and rock it lay, to be uncovered only after lengthy and difficult labor, and then cut and polished by skilled hands into a thing of beauty.

Far surpassing this lovely gem is the brilliance of our God-given identity as the perfect image and likeness of God. Christ Jesus showed us how we could find this precious "gem"—our spiritual sonship. The way to discover, or uncover, this often hidden but nonetheless real selfhood is simple but profound. In the words of the Bible, "What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Mic. 6:8.

Is that a "mission impossible" assignment? Not really. But when we are caught up in materialistic living, it can be so easy to be insensitive and sometimes even cruel to those about us. What might be lacking in our lives? Is the complex and competitive society of today the problem? Or is it society's apparent obsession with wealth, material possessions, and personal appearance? Is that why drugs, immorality, and criminal activity plague so many lives with their resulting misery, disease, and death? For lasting happiness and peace, society must examine and change its priorities. We can never be obedient to God's first and great commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," Ex. 20:3. when we make a god of material possessions or an idol of personal appearance. Like the diamond in the rough, our true, spiritual identity can seem to be obscured by the material debris of material living. And as with the diamond, it requires dedicated and determined effort to bring to light the brilliance of that true identity.

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Why the lottery isn't for me!
February 5, 1990

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