Showing posts from 2016

Take Away Their Argument

Have you ever started a conversation about life and philosophy and it becomes apparent the other person is not listening? They seem to "talk through" or "talk around" your ideas, rather than thoughtfully considering them? I'm sure you have. The good news is, there are fantastic ways to steer a conversation back to the original topic.

Stimulating The Thought Process We have described techniques such as staying on topic, setting the premise, asking questions, and others that are available for review at ITCZ 101. We use these techniques for clarity and to keep ourselves thinking through a complex conversion. Equally important, we are helping others to engage their thinking and remain thoughtful as well.
Another technique to add to our arsenal is to take away their argument. So, what does that mean? The idea is to grant the other person a point that is true, yet it is irrelevant to the point you are making.

In philosophical discussions we can quickly find ourselves…

Rethink It: Repentance Revisited

Let's rethink repentance. Clarifying terms is a great tool for improving communication. It allows us to not only look closely at a word or phrase but also let's us come at it from many angles. Let's define and simplify the word, repent/repentance.

Repentance can be mistaken for sorrow or penance but that's not what it is. Repentance is not sorrow. Will sorrow lead you to repent? Sure it does. Yet it is a separate process.

Repenting is commonly understood, as to turn away from sin. When we dig a little deeper we find that repentance is specifically to change your mind.

It's that easy. When we fall into sin our Father tells us to change our mind about the sin we commited. Sin produces death and due to our new nature, we have a way to recover from it. We have the superpower to change our mind about following our old nature and set our thought process to think like the new person we are. We choose to think like Jesus thinks.

Our thinking process is where God is directl…

Not Looking For Agreement

Can you remember an argument you had where a person you were trying to correct refused to agree that they had done the thing you said they did? Even though there was no disputing the details?

I have. In one particular encounter, when it happened, it took me by surprise. So much so, the entire encounter changed the way I think. Here's why: It didn't matter how clear the situation was, he was not going to agree that he had done anything wrong. Then the unexpected happened!

Let's do this in story format for fun. The names and some details have been changed to protect... everybody! :-)
Jack And Tom Jack was the manager of our team. One day a member, we'll call him Tom, was in a tough situation with a client where it was appropriate to refuse our services. It was a common practice to refuse service under these particular conditions. However, when Jack came over to back Tom, he put Tom in a terrible position.

Instead of confirming the denial of service, he assisted the clien…

Set The Premise

It is appropriate that we are ready to answer questions from Believers and non-believers. However we do not need to accept the premise of a question.

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. - 1 Peter 3:15 NLT

Here is a fantastic definition of what a premise is:

A premise is the assumption of an argument that is meant to justify the conclusion the one making the argument is hoping you’ll come to. If one fails to establish the premise to his argument, one almost always fails to convince others of his conclusion. On the other hand, if one establishes a premise one will more than likely get others to agree with his conclusion. -from the article, "Never Accept the Premise of Your Opponent’s Argument" by Steve Deace,
We want to do what Jesus did and change or correct the premise of questions we get asked, to what should have been asked to lead to salvation. Jesus did this many…

Made For This Moment

You are a warrior! It is a part of your new nature in Christ. Whatever difficulties that lie before you, you are made for this moment. So let's take a daily approach where we are readying ourselves for the battles to come.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. - James 1:2-4 NLT
Can you find this kind of fortitude right now? Maybe. For many of us we will need to grow into increasing levels of fortitude. This is the reason the Apostle Paul instructed us to put on the full armor of God. The first step is to think like Jesus thinks.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." - John 16:33 NLT
You Were Made For Thi…

You Are A Warrior

Can you remember a time when things were difficult? It's likely something or several things are happening right now that are terrible. Do you remember thinking that, "if I could just *fill in the blank* I would be set? Once this is over with, life will be better."

"If I could get that job or promotion, that's all I would need." "If I could get that bill paid then I would be doing great." "If I could just get some relief, I would be ok."

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking sets us up for failure when the next challenge comes along. If we achieve a victory or good fortune overcoming a difficult situation, we want to make sure we do not disarm ourselves for the next encounter.

Celebrate The Wins, Develop Fortitude For The Next Challenge Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. - Ephesians 6:10 NLT
Certainly, we want to celebrate every win. It is an integral part of laying a foundation of fortitude. Yet, instead of letting down our gua…

Ask Questions

Have you ever wondered why children learn so fast? We have all observed enough to know that children are quick studies. They have the power of curiosity! That curiosity produces a million questions. We also can use questions to spur our curiosity and the curiosity in others.

If I give you information that you are not interested in, you are going to forget it. Undesired information has little value. However, information that is provided in response to a question has ongoing value and activates our learning and reasoning.

Walking In The Spirit You will find that questions are a powerful mechanism that God uses throughout the scriptures. Why? To activate our thinking. To reveal information that we would not otherwise discover or realize. Did you ever notice that Jesus answered questions with questions? It was to activate the other persons thinking.

The Holy Spirit works in a similar way. Here's how. Have you ever had a question come to mind about something in the scriptures or about …

An Expert Listener 2

Have you ever been in a discussion/argument/debate where you were right but felt like you lost the argument? Well that shouldn't happen!

As Christians we have the words of life and yet when we get in a philosophical discussion it can get muddled and confusing where all parties get lost in the semantics. This doesn't need to happen.

If we learn to listen, we can become expert at planting and watering the Word of God.

When we engage folks when we are out and about, it's fun to get to know people and share our lives with them. These moments can provide fantastic opportunities to deliver the Gospel.

The scriptures tell us that we are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Paul reminded us that time is short and Jesus directed us to deliver the Gospel and make disciples. This all seems like our Father is telling us to go in with a strategy!

Listening is a critical piece of our strategy for taking advantage of opportunities and creating opportunities where they may not se…

An Expert Listener 1

Listening is a superpower that you just cannot do without. We hear about it but we may not think about it. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Listening is not a passive ability. Therefore, we have to actively engage it.

Listening requires focus and must be practiced for it to be developed. The power of listening requires a thoughtful approach and a strategy.

There is a reason we have trouble being good listeners. In much the same way that our curiosity has been stolen, our ability to be a good listener has been taken as well. Since our culture is designed to drive curiosity from us, it has also taken our ability to listen with it. You can't have one without the other.

The importance of being a good listener cannot be over emphasized. It is a core function of learning, reasoning and understanding. It is a superpower for knowing the Lord and a superpower for communicating.

Listening Is Commanded Jesus insisted that we be expert listeners.

Anyone with ears to hear must list…

Salvation, Relationship, Testimony 2

By Reverend Bob Griffith - Guest Writer

Faith in the Lord was a growing process for me and when I crossed over that line and started trusting the Lord I have to say it became second nature for me. Now everything I do is by faith in the Lord.

Every situation now is automatic about listening to what the Lord is saying or what His Word says. I don't panic any more or get confused. I trust the Lord will get me through the storm or take it away. Either way I have faith in Him.

We all come to the Lord in different ways, some slower than others. Once I got God's Word in me I wanted to help others by showing them that reading God's Word and doing it is the quickest way to get where the Lord wants you and where you want to be.

I want to lead others to love Him and His ways, as I do. God is awesome and all powerful and He has great plans for you as He does me. Yeah, these steps are the way I came to my cool zone. It takes time but God is a redeemer of time and I hope these steps mig…

Salvation, Relationship, Testimony 1

By Reverend Bob Griffith - Guest Writer

I'm the type of person who doesn't like doing things twice or doing things that turn out fruitless. If God was real and he actually has a purpose for why I'm here, I wanted to know. After reading the scriptures I knew I had to make a commitment to Him.

Why? Well first, I needed a Savior. That was clear to me.

Surprisingly, what I noticed in God's Word was that when He would tell me in scripture what I should do, there was a blessing behind the command as well.

For instance…
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. - Psalm 37:5 KJV Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. - Proverbs 16:3 KJV
These blessings are awesome, because God is showing and telling us, if you do your part He will do His part and you will be blessed.

My relationship with the Lord began to change drastically. I was having a relationship with Him that was real. I no more felt like, he was up t…

Actively Stay On Topic

This one strategy will eliminate nearly every frustration and much of the confusion when discussing the scriptures.

Periodically we end up in philosophical discussions about life. When discussing or debating the merits of the Word of God, with other Christians or non-Christians, why is it difficult to get our point across? 

Remember the age-old debate about who's responsible in a conversation? Is it the speaker or is it the listener? Who is responsible for a misunderstanding? There are reasons that both can contribute to any confusion. So let's talk about a solution.
There is a strategy we can follow to help both parties in a conversation. It is relatively simple but does require some focus and practice and it cannot be stated enough. It is this: Stay on topic!
The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing. - Proverbs 15:2 NLT
Why Were We Talking About This? Have you ever been caught up in a debate and before you knew it the topic shifted so many times, and you ran down so …

ITCZ 101 - An Attention Grabber

Have you ever wanted to share the Gospel or scriptural wisdom but couldn't come up with an ice breaker to segue into your topic? A great way to do this is to open with an attention grabbing statement or question.

So what kind of attention grabber is good to open with? It would depend on your topic. A good idea is to open with your conclusion. It can also be a statement or in the form of a question. Have you ever wondered why there is no evidence for evolution and yet it is the only origin philosophy taught in public schools?I think it's scary they teach evolution in public school even though there is no evidence to support it. 
Your Attention Please For those of you who hold an evolutionary philosophy, I know that I now have your attention. For those who are unsure if there was a creation or an evolution or some combination of the two that explains our origins, I probably have your attention as well. I bet even a creationist would be wondering what I was going to say next.
The …

ITCZ 101 - A Place Of Power

Our goal in delivering the Gospel or the Word of God in any particular situation is not necessarily that we are heard, but that others are listening, curious and thinking. Let's take every opportunity to put folks in the best position we can so they can thoughtfully consider what we are sharing.

When sharing your faith it's a good idea to do what you can to keep the other person engaged, curious and thoughtful. One way to do that is to let them have a place of power. Ok, now what does that mean?

The place of power is simply how you position yourself and the other person when engaging in a conversation.

Here are a couple of examples of the place of power.
Sit or stand lower than the other person. Open posture. Ask questions. Listen very closely.Recap what you understand they said and meant.
Creating Opportunities To Connect The purpose of letting someone be in the place of power helps them relax and keeps their thoughts out in front of their feelings. It's hard to be curious…

ITCZ 101 - Body Language

Our body language is always speaking. People are listening... with their eyes. In the same way our emotions can get out in front of our thinking process, the body will try to speak before you think, and this can move others to the defensive. We want to avoid doing this.

So when is it important to know when my body language is working against me? It's usually when we are in tough conversations with others. An example would be discussing things such as life, philosophy, politics, a misunderstanding or sharing the wisdom of God or the Gospel.

The idea is to keep ourselves thinking and helping the other person to continue to be thoughtful and thinking as well. When they are faced with new ideas, especially ones that challenge their preconceived ideas, it's a good idea to help them maintain a thoughtful demeanor. Our body language can hurt or help that process.

A Calm, Cool Demeanor We have discussed Conversations With Non-Christians and Conversations With Fellow Christians. Regardl…

A Convo With Fellow Christians

God's ways are extremely interactive. I love it and I hope you do too. We have discussed opportunities to share the Gospel with non-Christians in, A Convo With Non-Christians, but what about engaging other Christians?

Be Of One Mind The Lord wants us to be one. We have a lot to talk about. Unlike non-Christians we have the entire breadth of the scriptures to connect with. We have so much in common and to figure out what those things are requires some "we time."

You'll never see people on the same page unless they stragegize together. Look how many times the scriptures tell us to be of one mind. How can we do this if we barely know each other?
That you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 15:6 NKJV Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of…

A Convo With Non-Christians

While we are going about our daily business we are going to have opportunity to engage fellow Christians and those who do not know the Lord. Those who are not in the Lord, or non-Christians, are inherently going to have difficulty with the things of God.

The scriptural things we have available to engage non-Christians with, are limited in the sense of content that is effective.

Can we talk about the scriptures to non-Christians? Sure we can. Yet, if we do not bring the Gospel to the conversation at some point, we are not setting them up for success.

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise. - Proverbs 11:30 NKJV
Before Understanding... Salvation Topics such as the scriptures, history, current events, religion, politics, science, etc. are fantastic mechanisms for engaging and raising curiosity but until the Gospel is offered, there is no intimate engagement of the Spirit and the unsaved person.

Having read the bible or having general biblical knowledg…

ITCZ 101 - Curious Unto Salvation

We know that presenting the Gospel is a primary objective. So how do we do that? As discussed in the article, Deliver The Gospel, we need to know what the Gospel is. In the article, The Holy Spirit Leads we find that we plant and water but it is the Holy Spirit that brings conviction.

So what's our strategy then for planting and watering? Curiosity!

Part of being In The Cool Zone is having a healthy curiosity about the things of the Lord. We discussed in, Curiosity… The Hijacked Virtue, that we have had our curiosity taken from us. When we take it back and take it seriously we open up a whole new world that the Lord has been leading us to affect.

He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. ... whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. - 2 Corinthians 3:6, 16 NLT
Stirring Up Curiosity In Others Curiosity has also been stolen from those not in the Lord. Have you ever had an encounter with someone who argued a point but had no curiosity about input you co…

ITCZ 101 - Developing Expertise

The Christian vocabulary doesn't often include the word, "expertise." It's common to think of developing expertise for work, games or hobbies and yet as Christians, there are also many skills that we have that can be developed and mastered.

Expertise - Definition
Noun - expert skill or knowledge; expertness; know-how.
Verb - to study or investigate as an expert.

Expertise - Synonyms
ability, competence, facility, judgment, know-how, proficiency, prowess, savvy, skill

Admonitions To Actively Train Paul instructs Timothy to, "train yourself to be godly." The word "train", from Strongs G3958, means "to exercise vigorously, in any way, either the body or the mind." We are instructed many times throughout the scriptures to develop our expertise in the Lord:

Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. - Hebrews 5:14 NLT  Be transformed by the renewal of your min…

ITCZ 101 - Your Elevator Pitch

Question: What is your elevator pitch for the Gospel?
Answer: "What's an elevator pitch?" :-/
Ok, let's start there! An elevator pitch (EP) is a quick overview of a topic that expresses a thought or idea in a quick and concise manner. The pitch only takes about 20-30 seconds. So even the tightest window of opportunity to deliver the Gospel becomes easy to do.

The EP does require a little planning and practice. However, just like doing mental reps to galvanize your heart, the EP becomes a faith boost because the preparation builds confidence.

Mind Tools has an excellent piece on Crafting an Elevator Pitch. This should give you a pretty thorough introduction. Thank you, Mind Tools!

Review, ITCZ 101 - Deliver The Gospelto nail down exactly what the Gospel is. Then craft your pitch. Practice it and get it down to approximately 30 seconds and you have yourself a powerful witnessing tool.

Preparation Meets Opportunity When an opportunity presents itself you will be able t…

ITCZ 101 - Deliver The Gospel

When we are going about our day it's not too hard to get caught up in the daily events that consume our time. It's just normal life but let's not let the work of the day take away from opportunities to share the Gospel.

The Abundance Of The Heart Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak. This is the foundation for being ready to deliver the gospel at a moment's notice. When the opportunity presents itself the heart, when full, must speak. A heart full of the scriptures does not fear to speak the Gospel. It craves every opportunity.

Delivering The Gospel We were instructed by Jesus to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. Let's develop a strategy of delivering the Gospel and teaching the scriptures that can accomplish both of these goals and master it.

First know what the Gospel is. The entire chapter of 1st Corinthians 15 is a great start and deserves a read through. Be sure to keep verses three and four locked and loaded for a concise and powe…

Required: Daily Prayer List

Do you have a prayer list? Are you hitting it every single day?

We have to. There is no way around it. If we feel like we are under duress we are moved to pray. When a great need arises, it's relatively easy to stop what we are doing and cry out to the Lord.

Unfortunately, we do not carry with us a moment by moment realization that we are always susceptible to the enemy without a close connection to the Lord. When things are going well we lose our edge and we can't let this happen.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. - 1 Peter 5:8 NLT

Motivation For Daily Prayer God wants to walk with us. Switch it around and it's still true... He wants us, to walk with Him. There are good reasons for this. The first is His love for us. Secondly, He knows that when we are not keeping Him at the forefront of our minds we forget about Him. We forget who we are in Christ. We forget about our enemy.


ITCZ 101 - Harmless As A Dove

Let's continue our review in Matthew where Jesus was sending out the 12 disciples to deliver the message that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. He gave them a detailed plan and summarized with the following scripture.
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. - Matthew 10:16 KJV
Let's take the second half of this scripture and go at this in a similar way as before. We'll take a quick look at the word "harmless."

Harmless - The same word is innocent, meaning unmixed, pure as in wines or metals. Of the mind, without a mixture of evil, free from guile. Figuratively, innocent: harmless, simple.

So pretty easy stuff here. It is true that we should be harmless but let's think of that as the ability to help others engage in friendly conversation and keep them engaged for as long as possible i.e. a friendly conversation about the Gospel.

ITCZ 101 - Wise As A Serpent

When Jesus was sending out the 12 disciples to deliver the message that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand to the people in the surrounding regions, He gave them a detailed plan. The plan was summarized with the following scripture.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. - Matthew 10:16 KJV

We'll tackle the phrase, "be wise as serpents," first. We'll follow up with a post on being harmless as a dove. So let's kick off with a quick word study, looking closely at the word "wise" and "serpent."

Wise - ThoughtfulSagacious (Having or showing acute mental discernment and keen practical sense; shrewd), Discreet.Serpent - From a word meaning, through the idea of sharpness of vision; a snake, figuratively, as a type of sly cunning or specifically Satan. From G3700, G3708

What's In Your Tool Box?

It probably doesn't take a lot of convincing for us to buy that God is working in our world to save humanity. The Lord, rightfully so, is understood to be powerful, faithful and active. You could say he has every tool at His disposal to bring His will to bear. I'm good with that.

Now how do we get in on the action? We have been charged with building ourselves up in the Lord and building up others as well.

The work consists of having our mind renewed to think like Jesus thinks so we can deliver the Gospel, serve our brothers and sisters and teach others how to do the same. So this begs the question, "if we are builders, what's in our tool box?"

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. - Ephesians 4:11-12 NLT
Work Hard, Work Smart Goal number one, once we believe in Jesus a…

ITCZ 101 - Willing To Learn

There are always going to be challenges to growing in the Lord. The first step is to be willing. The next step is to learn what the Lord is doing. Renewing how we think requires a new knowledge base. New to us, I guess I should say, not to God.

Have you ever wondered why we have to ask for wisdom? How about, why do we have to seek knowledge? It's because we clearly do not have it. If we haven't sought it out... we do not have it!

Our Opportunity To Participate So how do we get to a state where we are willing to learn?

Curiosity! Yet, there is a good chance that our culture has turned yours off. Curiosity is a superpower driving our willingness to learn. It's high time to stir your curiosity about the Lord and who you are in Christ.

Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. ... "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. - Isaiah 55:6, 8 NKJV
Curiosity is not only an antidote to fear it leads to thin…

ITCZ 101 - Seek The Truth

Truth can be elusive. It's not something we learn by stumbling over it. It has to be learned. It has to be sought. Unfortunately, we sometimes don't realize we do not have the truth, until we find ourselves trying to articulate what we know.

Have you ever found yourself in a discussion or debate where you became unsure of your argument? Was your belief system challenged? Did you get knocked off base and realize you didn't have as much information as you thought and felt you had to now "win" the argument to save face?

How many times have you been in a discussion with someone who initially, you thought was being honest and thoughtful about the conversation, only to realize they were arguing to be "right," regardless of the facts or the truth?

ITCZ 101 - Forgive, Forget - Part 4

Academically it's not too hard to see that forgiveness is a core idea in knowing the Lord and walking in the Spirit. Can it still hurt after we forgive? Yes, it sure can. And still, we have a much greater hope.

We are not trying to make what happened right. We are forgiving because we have been forgiven. We are tenaciously forgiving so we can keep our relationship with the Lord on track and full of life. We are keeping our other extremely valuable relationships full of life as well.

We need you in the game and focused on the greater things the Lord has put in your charge and we know our Father is all in with us!

Developing Our Capacity For Forgiveness Is there a way to develop our ability to forgive? There is indeed. When our core values are centered around the purposes of God, forgiveness is much more accessible. Conversely, the more one's core values are based on our own purposes, forgiveness is very difficult to find. So let's line up our core beliefs and the things we …

ITCZ 101 - Forgive, Forget - Part 3

Do you recall the saying, "time heals all wounds?" It does seem like there is some truth to it. I would submit that time gives us the opportunity to put things into perspective. Yet, there is another powerful force at work on our behalf. It's not necessarily time, but forgetfulness that closes the door on hurtful offenses.

Forgiveness is the mechanism that allows us to forget.
I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. - Isaiah 43:25 NKJV
Take a moment to think that through. Our Father has a plan to never remember our sins again. That's not for our benefit. It's for God's benefit! The Creator of Heaven and Earth will not remember our sins ever again... for His own sake!

Imitators Of God So let's be like God. Is it a tall order? Uh-huh. Yet, according to our new nature, it is part of who we are.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given…

ITCZ 101 - Forgive, Forget - Part 2

Let's continue our discussion on forgiveness. It's time to ease our way out to the deep end. That's where in our weakness we are made strong.

Clearly, none of this is easy. We must understand who we are in Christ to access forgiveness and begin to grasp its power. We must understand our purpose in Christ. We must galvanize our heart, because offenses and sins against us hurt. They can dig in and continue to do harm. Yet, forgiveness on our part is not contingent on our feelings.

Forgiveness allows us to let go of the past and allows us to look forward, just as the scriptures say we should. Holding onto a grudge, holding on to a hurt, holding on to a slight keeps us in the past. It takes us off the purpose the Lord has for us.

Do we still hurt when we forgive? Most likely the answer is yes. So let's begin to see the two processes of hurting/healing and of forgiving, independently at work.

Hurts need time to heal. Why? Because we need to put them into perspective. We nee…

ITCZ 101 - Forgive, Forget - Part 1

There is a simplicity in forgiveness and yet there is also a depth of intimacy, if not heart wrenching engagement, to it that this series certainly would not be considered an exhaustive work. It is intended to be a foundation for further, ongoing review and discovery in your relationship with the Lord.

With that said, let's be as attentive to forgiveness as we are to our salvation. We cannot have one without the other.

There are different types of offenses that will inevitably come our way. It's going to happen. Let's develop our thought process to rebound from offenses and recover ourselves from being confounded and demoralized.

The first order of business is to note that forgiveness is not dependent on restitution. Forgiveness is dependent on our relationship with the Lord.

It is a superpower of liberty. The act of forgiving is for you, not for the offender.

This can be a challenging subject for our faith and we are all going to need help with this one. So let's look…

What am I? Who am I? - Part 2

By Britton Zirkle - Guest Writer

Let's continue with, how I came to know what I am and who I am.

These are questions that everyone wants to answer and many people struggle with the difference between these two questions, but there is a difference and it’s important. Now let's define, "who" we are and more precisely, who we choose to be.

Who am I? This is a very simple question of accountability and measurement, but it can be profoundly difficult to answer in honesty. God made you what you are for His purpose. It is our job to identify both the attributes and gifts that each of us has in Christ and the ones that make us unique. It is also our responsibility to give ourselves over to what God designed us to be.

Asking yourself who you are is the yardstick. Are you, at any given moment, being what God made you to be?  The answer to this question is who you are. Are you, through faith, producing the fruit of the Spirit, by the unique traits and gifts God created in you?

What am I? Who am I? - Part 1

By Britton Zirkle - Guest Writer

How I came to know what I am and who I am.

These are questions that everyone wants to answer and many people struggle with the difference between these two questions, but there is a difference and it’s important. In order to know the difference and really begin to make progress with the answers, we have to redefine the questions.

What am I? This is a question of attributes, calling, talents, abilities, and things that are unique to us.  First and foremost I am a Christian. Whatever I was before I came to Christ, I no longer am. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here.”