“I am not my own…”
Those of you steeped in Reformed tradition recognize those five words, and you have already begun reciting the rest of the words in the answer to the first question in the Heidelberg Catechism.
If you aren’t familiar with those words, or the Heidelberg Catechism, here’s the short version:
H.C. Q&A #1:
Q: What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A: That I am not my own, but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. … Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
(You can access the full version HERE.)
As important as those first five words are to my theological understanding of my faith, the next two words may be even more important. Particularly the seventh word: BELONG
I’ve been thinking and praying quite a bit lately about this word.
Here’s how Merriam Webster defines the word:
2a : to be the property of a person or thing —used with to <the book belongs to me>
b : to be attached or bound by birth, allegiance, or dependency —usually used with to <they belong to their homeland>
c : to be a member of a club, organization, or set —usually used with to <she belongs to a country club>
Definition 2b is what draws my attention. To be attached or bound by birth, allegiance or dependency.
While I am certainly attached to my Lord and Savior these ways, I’d like to add one more.
I’m attached or bound to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, by death. His death.
Jesus Christ’s death on the cross bound me to him. He chose me. He died for me. I’m attached to him and his sacrifice.
In last week’s post I talked about where my allegiance lies. Do I rely on my bank account or on God?
Continuing with that theme, I want to emphasize where I truly belong. I belong to Jesus. To God.
As I continue on this adventure of self-employment I need to keep those words at the forefront of everything I do daily.
I belong to Jesus.
Add the five words from the beginning to these four words.
I am not my own. I belong to Jesus.
Everything I do must be filtered through these nine words.
Are you living out these words? Do you struggle each day like I do?
It isn’t easy, and we are never told it will be, but I’m going to keep trying. Every. Single Day.