That's Not Who You Are

But you, Beloved

“That’s not who you are!”  I can still hear my mother exclaiming in a firm but loud voice as she pointed her finger at the object on the table. Even in this moment as I type, my head is shaking at the memory of that day and the very stupid action that landed the 14-year-old girl at the kitchen table. It was a stupid action, it wasn’t a reflection of who I was, and for the life of me, I can’t even remember why I did it.

The other morning, I felt impressed to read the very short letter of Jude. 25 verses. It reads more like an email than a letter.  Its purpose is to challenge and encourage the readers (believers, which ultimately includes us) to contend and fight for the truths of the faith we have received. In the time he wrote, the followers of Jesus were experiencing much persecution, and many were being put to death for their beliefs.

Within this text there are several warnings, many of which we can draw parallels to our culture today. Then Jude turns back to the reader, “But you, beloved,” he continues. Jude is saying what my mother said. That is not who you are!

But you, Beloved

If you spend any time at all on social media, watching television, movies, etc., you know it only takes a moment to get all caught up in something that is not representative of who you are. Yet so much social media and television, has good information to offer! We enjoy the freedom of a bountiful flow of information and entertainment. And with that freedom comes responsibility. Jude challenges us to “be extremely careful to keep yourselves free from the pollutions of world.” For me it was a word of warning. Be responsible with the freedom you have.

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As I read Jude’s letter the other morning, I began to see the places in my life that I needed to hear my mother’s voice, “that’s not who you are.” Here is a moment of honesty.

  1. In my thinking, I can be more merciful and compassionate, toward others and toward myself. Recently I spoke at a women’s luncheon and stressed the importance of keeping a check on what we think about ourselves. It’s not just our actions that we get into trouble with. If we don’t understand who we are and whose we are, we need a “but you, beloved” moment.
  2. In my online business, I can be more careful about not doing something just because the others do it. It seems like everyone is either marketing an online business or selling a plan to market your business online. I’ve had several “but you, beloved” moments online.
  3. In my personal life, I can be more diligent about keeping myself fastened to God’s love and growing in my spiritual maturity. Thinking too much about my thoughts toward others or my thoughts toward myself, and studying online marketing more that studying God’s word will move me in the opposite direction quicker than the wind.

There is only One who can help me with this challenge. Jude says it so well.

Now to the One with enough power to prevent you from stumbling into sin and bring you faultless before His glorious presence to stand before Him with ecstatic delight, to the only God, our Savior, through our Lord Jesus Christ, be endless glory and majesty, great power and authority, from before He created time, now and throughout all the ages of eternity.                                                             

Jude 24-25 The Passion Translation

But you, Beloved

I am not called to do life like the online masses. I am called to stay fastened to the love of God and live life from the power He places within me. In this season, I hear Jesus calling. Ok, maybe it sounds a lot like my mother, but the message is clear.  

What is Jesus calling you to?