Be willing To Surrender Who You Are, For What You Can Become
When I think of a man in the Bible who surrendered who he was for what he could become, the first person that grabs hold of my mind is Saul. Saul was born in Tarsus which was the most prominent city in all of Cilicia. Tarsus became part of the Roman empire in 64B.C.; thus Saul was born a Roman. But by ethnicity he was also a Jew. Acts 22:28 shows that Saul was born a Roman, which entitled him to the privilege of receiving a fairer trial than that offered by those who only had citizenship in Jerusalem. Since he was from the tribe of Benjamin (Romans 11:1, Philipians 3:5) he was given a Jewish name: Saul. A name which is reminiscent of Israel's first king during the time of the united kingdom of Israel after the conquest of the Cannanite land. When we think of who Saul was, he was not just a Jew and a Roman. He also was considered a "Hebrew of Hebrews” (2 Corinthians 11:22). This means he was the “cream of the crop” in regards to his deeply devoted Jewish religious ties. From the words of Luke in Acts 23:6, we can derive that when Saul appeared before the Sanhedrian council he affirmed that he was a Pharisee and not a Saducee. The fact that he was a Pharisee meant that he believed in angels and the resurrection (Sadducees did not believe in either of these). Continuing on with Saul’s rich Jewish heritage, one also can see Saul was intricately linked with Jerusalem by way of his education. His parents did not send him to a local school in Tarsus but boarded him to the school of Gamaliel in the city of Jerusalem. It is debatable exactly how early Paul was sent to study under the tutelage of Gamaliel. However we know that this Gamaliel was quite prominent in the realm of wise Jewish scholarship. Historians agree that Gamaliel was the, “most distinguished disciple of Hillel, and succeeded him as head of the school which bore his name” (Bruce, F.F. New Testament History, p.236). Saul said, “I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers...” (Galatians 1:14) He also said in Philippians 3:6, “as to righteousness under the law [I was] blameless...”.
Should We Always Be True To Self?
The question of this article title is an important one for the Christian. I believe we should always be our “self” only after our very “self” is trained to live after the teachings of Jesus. I believe in many areas of life we need to be “molded” to a Biblical New Testament pattern. A proper new testament pattern may not be our “human-based” instinct. In other words, sometimes our natural or carnal reactions to things in life need to be tempered with the word of God, or else we can engage in reacting to life with omitted or committed acts of transgressions against God’s law.
Going The Second Mile, When The First Seems Hard Enough!
Every day he walked out to the mailbox to get his mail. It was not as if he minded living on a busy street that aggravated him. In fact, he was an avid “porch sitter”. Years of hard work had passed, and now he daily enjoyed watching the cars. But there was “one thing” that just annoyed him when he went to get his mail. Every day he’d find trash by his mailbox, sometimes it was a Coca-Cola can, other times a few cigarette butts, while still other times it was a McDonald’s bag, that some passer by had decided to toss out of their window and leave for someone else. It was hard for him to take it. Day after day he’d stoop down and pick up the trash and then festering inside, he’d take his mail to the porch and read it wandering if his eye could catch the license plate of one of those “litterbugs”.
Fight The Good Fight
Most things in life aren’t worth fighting for. The things that are worth fighting for are generally worth more than the life in the fight. Boxing matches have people who wear gloves because both fighters know, or should know, that their is still an important value to their opponent’s life. While those who are professional boxers may punch and jab, they in the end must know that they are not fighting for the things that really matter, eternally. They may fight for a purse of prize money, but if their mind is centered around that, then they are seeking the “wrong” type of thing to honor.