I want a new phone. No, I want the new iPhone. The iPhone 11. And I also want a new iPad and a new Macbook Pro.
I actually have an iPhone 8 already. And an iPad. And also a Macbook Air. But why do I want the new ones?
People are wired to want new things. We're not content with what we already have. We must have new ones. The better ones. Because we need more than what we have now.
We tend to look for things we don't have. If only I could get a better phone, then maybe I can be more productive in my work. If only I have a better laptop... If only I have a better job... If only I could speak better... If only I could write better...
What if all you need is what you have now? What if instead of looking for things you don't have, you begin to value what you have and start to maximize them?
The boy who had five loaves of bread and two pieces of fish had enough food to feed the five thousand.
What you have is enough. Stop trying to acquire more things. Start giving away what you have and you will see them multiply a hundredfold.
Somebody once gave me two pairs of shoes. One pair was a gorgeous Under Armour basketball shoe. I was so happy to receive it. The other pair was a brand that I did not recognize. It was a nice-looking brown leather sneaker but since I was not familiar with the brand, I wasn't as pleased as I was with the other pair.
One day, somebody noticed the new brown leather sneakers I was wearing. He said, "Wow, that's a Cole Haan! That's expensive. Nice shoe brother!" I didn't know that it was a brand of high value. From then on, I treated that shoe differently. I started to wear it with more delight and greater confidence.
Knowing the value of something changes the way we treat that very thing.
Every time I travel to Singapore, my way of speaking automatically adapts to Singlish, the Singaporean way of speaking English, in a matter of days or even hours. I am amazed and surprised when I automatically say "la" at the end of my sentences, the way a typical Singaporean does. This is the power of immersion. Our brain automatically soaks up the culture that we're immersed in, influencing and changing us.
When Jesus said his last words, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit", I think he was not just talking about baptizing people like John the Baptist did. I believe he's also saying that it's important for us to baptize or immerse people in the name and identity of the Father, in the name and ways of the Son, and in the name and culture of the Holy Spirit.
We are transformed when we are immersed in the identity and ways of God. If you were given a chance to stay in heaven with the Heavenly Father for a few days, wouldn't that change the way you speak? What about if Jesus were to hang out with you every single day for a month, wouldn't that change how you behave? What if you get to have the Holy Spirit as your best friend, wouldn't that change your schedule and your priorities?
Just think about all those possibilities. They can be your reality. Start immersing yourself in the reality of who God is today.
We all make mistakes. We fumble and fall. We slip up. But we are not our mistakes. And we are not defined by our sins.
Whether you believe it or not, you are special. You were created for a purpose. Your creator made you just the way you are for a reason. And you are His masterpiece.
You are not defined by what you do, but rather, what you do is defined by who you are. "But who am I, really?”, you may ask. You are who you think you are. Your identiy is defined by how you see yourself.
No one knows you better than the one who created you. If you really want to know who you were meant to be, then you need to look at your maker and you will see in His eyes your true reflection. Through His eyes of love, you will see your perfect reflection—the way God sees you. Nothing is more important than seeing yourself as God sees you.