Thoughts craft our identity while words craft our perception. What does that mean? Without trying to sound too philosophical, it means what we think about, what we meditate on, what we calculate in our soul when it comes to the decisions we make, determines who we choose to be.
If we don’t spend time thinking about our decisions, we will likely lack a sense of depth and craft an identity based on our impulses. The second portion regarding our words will shape how others perceive us. While our own words do have power to inspire our inner being, our words, our communication or lack thereof express our identity to others.
This is why the book of Proverbs in Scripture warns us so much about hasty words, idle words, talking too much or talking too little. It is why James in the New Testament describes the challenge of taming the tongue. An individual can have a healthy sense of who they are and still give off terrible impressions or remain completely unaware of how others perceive them.
And then, there are some among us who just don’t care what others think at all. As dangerous as that can be, a greatest danger as individuals is disregarding what God thinks about us. This is why outright rejection or outright denial of God’s existence is so unattractive. It is also why those who are adamant about the claim of the non-existence of God have to be loud so as to let us know where they stand. The atheist is always trying to convince himself/herself . They could alternatively live in quiet uncertainty which is where most people tread a portion of their life.
Jude 16 describes a type of person that by their own words is discontented and confused in their identity. This person is characterized by dissatisfaction, by blaming others for their lot, by complaining about lots of things, by boasting loudly, by flattering others to gain an advantage. This person is victim to a mindset more familiar with their desires and pleasures than with their own heart. They have lost their identity to desire. And that state of life is deadly and draining for others to endure.
Even as I wrote the previous paragraph, I introspect and find myself wondering how much of the above describes me. How much of me is ungodly? How much of me has an unhealthy sexual identity as opposed to a Christ-centered identity? Are my thoughts or my words shaping life or death?
As I reflect, I also can’t help but have this assurance from God, that “I am the beloved.” God’s word lets us know that we live in a world where light and darkness collide. Individuals will choose passions that are wicked,destructive and instinctively cause division. They lack the Spirit of God so they can’t help but fight against the ways of God.
But those that have the Spirit of God have power in prayer and faith. We can build one another up, be kept in love while receiving mercy and the promise of eternal life. Furthermore, Jude states that in light of our collective identity as the beloved, we have a mission. This is the topic of the final portion of Jude