When asked to introduce yourself, do you look at your identity or your responsibilities?
Do you know the difference?
Ruth 3:9-11 He asked her, “Who are you?” She answered, “I’m only Ruth, your servant. Spread the edge of your garment over your servant, because you are my related redeemer.” He replied, “May you be blessed by the LORD, my daughter. You’ve added to the gracious love you’ve already demonstrated by not pursuing younger men, whether rich or poor.Don’t be afraid, my daughter. I’ll do for you everything that you have asked, since all of my people in town are aware that you’re a virtuous woman.”
Ruth identified herself first. Boaz responded to her by validating her character (kindness, self control, noble character….) which is tagged to her identity before speaking about her responsibilities (kinsman redeemer 😜) .
Still don’t get it?
The modern day Ruth identifies as follows, I am a mother of 4 kids. I work in ABC company as the Secretary General for the past 7 years and my name is Ruth. Also, I am an active member of………. etc.
The modern Ruth has lost self in responsibilities and roles. Thus, has created a chaotic spiral web where identity is equated to activities. In the absence of these activities in and around her life, the modern Ruth loses track of self and purpose. Ruth lost her identity in her quest for societal advancement & approval. Ruth is enslaved but does not comprehend it because everything thing she does has a scripture backing it up.
She is a mother….. The woman shall be saved through childbearing
She manages her household well…. Proverbs 31. A whole chapter at that.
She is being mentored by an elder church lady…… Titus chapter 2
But what is her identity?
Sadly, when you delve further into this train of thought, you realise that there is a very high chance that the modern Ruth maybe offscript what God had ordained for her life. Why? Because she doesn’t know herself. She knows responsibility out of circumstances & not out of her calling, sadly.
The original Ruth knew herself well that the triple loss of her father in law, husband and matrimonial property did not allow her to abandon doing the right thing. It was very easy for her to agree with popular opinion that since she is now a homeless & hopeless widow, she has no need to stay with her mother in law any longer. Maybe I would have also reasoned like that. Especially noting that Ruth came from a people who worshipped idols yet her in-laws were the opposite. Gladly, she knew her identity well despite her uncertain start in life of idolatry. Once Ruth found her identity, she treasured it by means of loyalty.
Are you any different.
Where did you lose the script?
I can argue that we stopped seeking to please God and instead chose to please men with the hope that God would approve it. This is the genesis of the chaotic spiral web. You see, when the divine order is altered, everything else changes. This becomes slavery.
We are enslaved to responsibilities and expectations that keep flactuating because the heart of man is desperately wicked. Yet, we confidently ignore the scriptural standards that do not change since the foundation of time.
These standards work on the core of our being, our minds and our hearts. Yet the modern Ruth so desires a quick fix, selfish approval and achievements resulting in slavery. This reverses everything that our Lord has done for us.
He set us free from going through priests to have our prayers answered by allowing us to freely approach the mercy seat.
He set us free from external forms of righteousness as Pharisees and the teachers of the law displayed but apportioned righteousness to us who believe.
He allowed us to sit in heavenly places with Him and become co-heirs with Him.
He allowed us to read scripture by ourselves and not limit it to the chosen few.
He gave and continues to give His Spirit to all who come to Him, who seek Him truthfully.
He fights our battles on our behalf and does much more behind the scenes without telling us.
He forgave, still forgives and does not recount the sin or error once forgiven.
He does not and will not impose His will on anyone.
All these are reserved for all who are free. No slave would ever go scott free on any of the above.
Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ set us free. Stand firm, then do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
When you realise that your identity is freedom and your responsibilities are privileges given to you then it becomes easier to please God. Not man.
If you choose freedom, then be free in Christ. If you choose slavery, then be a slave for Christ. No other way.
Dear Lord, I am yours and my identity is found in You. No other way. Holy spirit, engrave this choice daily in my heart, speech, actions and desires. Lead me in the path that is aligned with my life’s calling even if I have to tread in unfamiliar territory. Help me to be confident in your leading. In moments of doubt, reassure me in a way that I will know it is truly the Lord’s doing. In moments of victory, keep me sober so that my ego does not insult You. In Jesus name. Amen.