Paul asserts in his letter to the Colossians that, as Christians, our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). One of the reasons why we are so easily offended and knocked down by criticism and disappointment is because we haven’t really integrated this great truth into our thinking. Tim Keller makes the point that our identity, our feeling of self worth, is tied up with a hierarchy of layers, some, at the top, less important, others, lower down, more important. You are a husband, a father, a Red’s supporter, a Christian, a connoisseur of good wine, a computer wiz. If being a Red’s supporter is really important to you, you will be feeling really good about yourself at this time. If your appreciation of good wines is not that important to you, you won’t be fazed by someone critiquing your favourite wine. If your technological know how is fundamental to your sense of self worth, being made redundant will be devastating for you. And Paul’s point is that each one of us needs to come to the place where the base layer to our identity is that our lives are hidden with Christ in God. When that happens, the Red’s can lose, my favourite vintage can run out, someone can make a careless comment, I can fail to achieve some target I have set for myself, and none of these things will significantly affect my equilibrium… because my life is hidden with Christ! My security, my sense of self worth, my value as a human being, is tied up with the fact that I am forgiven, loved and valued in Christ.
So think about it for a moment…. Where does your sense of worth come from? Which fire do you warm yourself by? Is it your good looks, your kid’s achievements, your ability to excel at work, the appreciation of others…? Not that there is anything wrong with these things in themselves. But when anyone of them becomes the base layer to your identity, it will inevitably fail you. Only Jesus can give us that constant warmth that we all crave