Summary: In part one of this series "Are You Confused" I focused on our identity as Christians. The three definitions of the word confused are: “unable to think intelligently; not differentiated; disoriented.”
Are You Confused?
This morning I want you ask you a question, “Are You Confused?” I recently completed a series on Christians and how we can identify them. This morning I want to circle back to the beginning because in order for us to grow in Christ we have to solve our identify issues. We cannot grow in Christ if we are confused about who we are in Him. So, my question for all of us is this: “Are You Confused?”
There are several definitions for the word confused, but the three I want you to think about for the purposes of this series are: “unable to think intelligently; not differentiated; disoriented.” The first definition, “unable to think intelligently” implies that a person is unable to think or reason clearly or to act sensibly. In other words, the person lacks the ability to make decisions that are appropriate for the situation. In a given situation where a “normal” person would respond a certain way, this individuals is incapable to choosing that response. Let me give you an extreme example. A person pulls up to a four-way stop that has a caution light that blinks yellow. This person sits at the light with cars backing up behind them because they are waiting for the light to flash green. Is this a normal response? Absolutely not, this person is confused. A normal thinking person would know that they are to stop and then proceed with caution. The person who waits for the light to turn green really does not know how to proceed.
The second definition, “not differentiated” implies that you cannot distinguish one thing from the other; one thing is mistaken for the other. There are no clear guidelines so everything looks the same. Consider this example, if I asked you to close your eyes and I gave you a slice of a Fuji apple and a Red Delicious apple, could you tell the difference? For me there would be no differentiation as an apple is an apple. As you all know, this is the problem with the Church today, it’s getting harder and harder to differentiate a Christian from a non-Christian.
The third and final definition is disoriented. When someone is disoriented they are confused as to time and place; out of touch with reality. Now this is an interesting one. Most of us have experienced someone who has been sick and were confused. Maybe they were recovering from having anesthesia after surgery. Whatever the cause, the person did not recognize the present time and place. Some of us have experienced this while we were traveling and turned down the wrong road because our GPS was wrong. Being disoriented can be a scary feeling because we live in the present (knowing our surrounding which include time and place.) We know that when we lose this ability we lose our rights to make a decision. I had anesthesia recently and for 24 hours I was not allowed to drive my car (which I could have done) and I was not allowed to make any legal decisions. This is standard practice after anesthesia because a person’s thinking can be impaired.
With these definitions in mind, this morning I want to focus on our identity. Are you confused about your identity as a Christian? Identity is defined as, “the name or essential character that identifies somebody or something.” As a Christian, our name is “Christian.” We do not have a problem with this first part; the problem enters when we start looking at the “essential character” that identifies us as Christians. Turn with me to Jeremiah 1:5. It reads, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations.” Have you ever considered the fact that God knew you while you were in your mother’s womb? When a baby is conceived, God’s knows that baby – all babies! Whether that baby is carried to term or dies in the womb, God knows that baby and if that baby dies their spirit immediately upon death returns to God. When we were conceived God knew us and established a plan for our life. However, we had to accept our true identity before we could begin walking in what He had called us to do. When we accepted Christ the world gave us the title of “Christian.” However, without the essential character that identifies us as a Christian, that title means absolutely nothing. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out demons? And in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.” Having the title is not enough! So if we have the title and not the character, our life can be described as confused as we are unable to think intelligently about who we are; no one can differentiate us from the world; and we are disoriented to our surroundings – heaven focused versus world focused. You see, we should live in the world but not be a part of it. An example for you to consider is this: you live in your home yet you go to work at an office. When you get to your work location you are the same person that you are at home, you’re just temporarily at a different located. The location may change but you do not. Well if I am a true resident of God’s kingdom, this world represents a temporary location. I do not change for the temporary location I remain the same until I get back home! Does this make sense? My point with this is that if we are not walking in the character that identifies us as Christians, we are confused about our identity.