Invitation to Explore
Christ Ghubril says that it’s important to know yourself, to study the complex realities of your culture, heritage, reactions, and personhood because through studying yourself, you are engaged in an act of worship: through studying yourself you are stewarding the reality that you were created in God’s image, engaging in an act of worship as you contemplate how you have been “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). When you think about who you are and who God created you to be, what is one thing about yourself, your identity, culture, or history that you are thankful for?
Scripture to Study
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways…
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth. (Psalm 139:1-3 and 13-15)
Wise Words to Consider
“I get this as I reflect on the Scriptures where he says that God is not withholding of wisdom; if anyone lacks wisdom to ask Him for it and He will give generously. God doesn’t dangle the carrot of wisdom in front of us saying, ‘Do you wish you had some more?’ No, He gives it to us freely. So I’ve taken his word at that and I have asked the Lord for wisdom often.”—Chris Ghubril
A Prayer to Lead You
Loving Father, you know our hearts. You know our deepest longings. You know the rich, complex reality of our identities better than we know ourselves. Help us to embrace the person that you have created us to be and help us to change that within us that resists your will and love. Work through our complex histories and identities that we might be able to share Christ’s love in the world. We pray this through the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.
A Practice to Begin
For Chris, prayer is a discipline that doesn’t come naturally to him. So he has relied on a Bible reading plan and praying through his schedule. There are all kinds of approaches to developing disciplines in the spiritual life. One way to begin a discipline of prayer is to spend the first 10 minutes in the morning praying for wisdom for the day and reading Scripture. Consider a place and a time each morning, before the day begins, to give God your first five minutes of attention and seek Him in prayer and then give five minutes to reading Scripture, the Gospel of John or the Psalms are great places to start. This pattern of seeking God in prayer and then listening to God through His word is a great way to begin a disciplined spiritual life.
Questions to Answer
Take a moment to think about who God has created you to be. What are some important experiences in your past that have shaped you? What about yourself surprises you? What about yourself encourages you? What about yourself troubles you? How might your unique cultural identity and history help you to share the gospel and your testimony with others?
Resources to Help
Jason Poon, My Ethnical Dilemma
Ross McCall, Ways to Develop Your Prayer Life