Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
As someone who loves photography, I love to explore different settings on my camera in the hope that I can take better pictures! The challenge, or in fact the fun part, in low light photography is to control the amount of light that falls on your subject – especially if you are shooting portraits. In such a scenario, knowing how to use the external flash thoroughly can bring great joy in this hobby. There is a function on many external flashes called ‘Through the Lens’ (TTL). I find this term somewhat intriguing as I examine my own identity in Christ. I wonder just exactly through whose lens am I looking at myself? Am I looking at myself through God’s lens or the world’s lens without Christ in the centre? Whose acceptance am I trying to gain?
Most of us were raised in an environment where the word “success” is defined in certain ways, especially in Hong Kong’s culture. For instance, a person is deemed “successful” if they have a fancy work title and many people reporting to them in their organisation. A person is successful is they live in a big apartment or better still a house located in certain address in the city. A person is successful if they can afford all the niceties the world has to offer without even trying. However, I wonder if this is God’s definition of success. This can be a very distorted view if I view myself through the same kind of lens. In fact, the way God sees me is quite the reverse of how the world sees me! Then how does God see me? Who am I to Him? Let’s take a look at some of names the Bible calls me or us.
- I am a child of God (John 1:12)
- I am a friend of Jesus (John 15:15)
- I am Christ’s ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20)
- I am more than conqueror through Him who loved me (Romans 8:37)
- I am His royal priest (1 Peter 2:9)
- I am the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Almighty God dwells in me (1 Corinthians 6:19)
This is my identity. This is who I am in Him! And none of these identities have anything to do with money or fame or worldly success. Jesus accepts me just as I am and He qualifies me as one of His chosen people. This is amazing grace – undeserved favour or unmerited favour from God. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord.
Let’s practice through the lens by:
- Thanking God for His loving and unique ways of relating with us; and
- Asking God to renew our mind, help us take on our new identity in Jesus daily and see people in God’s precious ways.