In a Christianity Today article, Pastor Lee Eclov shares his journey to help a disgraced pastor. Read the full article here: https://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2014/april/when-colleague-falls.html
One phrase in Lee’s conversation struck me like lightning.
"I felt like I was drowning. Almost everything linked to my identity was gone. I was looking for some air to breathe. I knew I was totally responsible. I was very aware of my need to be forthright."
The man felt like he was drowning. He also needed air to breathe. He accepted responsibility. He understood the necessity of being forthright.
His statement is part and parcel of having the remotest chance of helping someone up from a stumble, or in some instances, diving into sin. The string of textbook phrases only touches the surface of the man's struggles. It may be the most tragic loss.
“Almost everything linked to my identity was gone.”
The poor man was in the prison of status. Position, finances, prestige, and title are often mistaken for reality, the definition of who we are. Note the textbook meaning:
“Losing your identity can be a long process over a period of months or years, but can also happen suddenly following a major life event or trauma. ... When we lose our identity and sense of self, we are likely to seek our sense of self-worth from others.”
Contrast this with Frankl’s Search for Meaning, and you will understand the self-yearns for “meaning” in life. This sense of “meaning” was demonstrated in the concentration camps as men and women with nothing, found satisfaction in helping others.
In Christ, we are supposed to be learning that Christ in us gives authentic meaning to us as we serve Him while He is dressed in the garb of others who are suffering. Who you are, your genuine identity, is not rooted in trappings, but Who is going on inside.
Copyright © 2018 Larry Lilly
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