A couple days ago my husband and I got to see the new Ghost in the Shell movie featuring Scarlet Johansson. It was VERY good! I can't really compare it to the movie it's based on because I haven't seen it due to nudity, but from what I've heard about the original movie, comparing that to this one, it was pretty faithful. Characters were spot-on. Anyway, what I wanted to blog about was a particular quote that was key to the movie.
"It's not your past that defines you, but what you do is what defines you." - Major Motoko
This is a very memorable quote, though, it's only half-right. It's true, the past doesn't define you. This is definitely something I struggle with. But what you do doesn't define you either. If it did, I'd be in big trouble. I'm disabled because of my brain injury, and I can't really do anything. I can't get a paying job, I can't sell my artwork which means whenever I finish my manga "Cross Feathers" I won't be able to publish it either except for being an online comic. I can't make money while on disability or I will lose all my benefits including my health insurance. I can't drive either because of my brain injury. So I'm just left at home doing nothing. My husband told me, "What about someone who's in a coma? They can't do anything, is that what defines them?"
So what DOES define us?
Who we are in Christ.
We are children of God, that's what defines us. What does it mean to be a child God? It means you are no longer slaves to the world. You are no longer held captive to the evil one. You. Are. Free. You might say, "How can I be free? There are so many rules!" Idk about rules honestly. It's true, we are to follow God's commands, but Jesus also said this,
"You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. A second is equally important: love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."
- Matthew 22:37-40
Are the commands important? Of course. But they all come back to these two commandments. Love God, and love others.
Think of it this way (though this may be a poor illustration). Do you live in the US? If so, do you follow the law? Are you considered free in this country? It's a free country, you can do whatever you want as long as you follow the law. Being children of God is kinda the same, in a weird way. There are commands we're to follow. Are we going to follow them perfectly? No. But you are free if you follow the commands.
"Aren't the commands out-dated?"
Not all of them. Some, sure, those would be the ones like don't eat unclean foods or mixing fabric. These come from the Mosaic Law. It's not that we pick and choose which ones we're going to follow and which one's we aren't. Take the command about not eating unclean foods. If you choose not to eat certain foods, that's your choice, it's not a necessity anymore. But the reason we know this has changed is because God told the Apostle Peter, "Don't call what I've created unclean." In the context of this, Peter has fallen asleep and since he was Jewish, he wouldn't eat what was considered "unclean" foods. This doesn't mean "Oh they didn't wash their food." It refers to what was considered unclean to be not pure. So as much as you might love bacon, if you were Jewish you couldn't eat it. Anyway, God told Peter in a dream, "Eat any of these animals." They were all animals that was considered "unclean." Peter said "I have never eaten anything the Jewish Law considers unclean." If God didn't want His followers to eat certain foods, why would he turn around and tell him to go ahead and eat them? This tells me that after Jesus came, the Jewish Law was no longer the requirement because honestly, none of us could follow that law perfectly, and that was the point. God was showing us that without Him we can't be perfect.
So how are we identified as children of God? By loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind; and loving others. This is our identity - in Christ.