“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved…” Colossians 3:12
Chosen Holy Beloved
Spend a few moments with those words. Chances are when asked to describe who you are, they are not the first words that come to mind. Whether we have heard them a million times or once, the temptation to glaze over them is strong. In doing so, we miss out on a game changer, a revelation that could change the course of our life, right here and right now – so pay attention.
Part 1: You are a first round draft pick.
I remember what it felt like to be picked before one of the boys when drafting soccer teams during recess. After the captain called my name, I joined the team with my shoulders held high trying not to let the ginormous smile I was fighting back show.
I can just as easily recall what it felt like when the girls in my class spontaneously revoked their friendship and banished me from the lunch table. Thirteen years later, I can still feel the sting of rejection.
No matter how old we are, we are continually shaped by the pivotal moments in which the world, or people we give power to, decide if we are accepted or rejected. In doing so, we attempt to overwrite what cannot be undone. It’s not up to us.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul writes, “…He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.” God chose you to be His child. In fact, the Gospel of John tells us that He chose you first: “You did not choose me but I chose you.” He chose you long before you ever had the opportunity to choose Him.
Part 2: You are set apart.
I would bet that very few of us would choose the word holy to describe ourselves. Despite your reservations, you are holy.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for holy is “qodesh” meaning apartness, set-apartness, separateness, and sacredness. In the New Testament, the word for holy is “hagios” and meaning set apart, reverent, sacred, and worthy of veneration.
God chose you to be holy before Him. He has set you apart because you are sacred.
Look out a nearby window or close your eyes and envision a vast landscape that has no end in sight. Take a few moments to breathe it all in. Now, whisper these words to yourself, “The whole, vast world would be incomplete without me.” (Stasi Eldredge)
There is a unique purpose in this world that only you can fulfill, and the Lord of all Creation has set you apart to fulfill it. You are holy.
Part 3: Loved by Love.
In his book, Abba’s Child, Brennan Manning writes, “Define yourself radically as one beloved by God; God’s love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth.”
John, the beloved disciple, or the one Jesus loves, lets Love become the rhythm of his life. Being the beloved is the only identity that matters to John. He doesn’t ramble off his hobbies, family, friends, or occupation in describing who he is because nothing compares to the fact that he is loved by Jesus.
Jesus’ love was all that mattered in defining his person-hood. “John did not believe that Jesus was the most important thing; he believed that Jesus was the only thing.” (Manning)
In his Gospel, John further reveals his understanding of what it means to be the beloved. He writes, “Peter turned and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them – the one who had leaned on his breast at the supper.” (John 21:20) John leans against the breast of Christ. He rests completely on Love.
You were chosen first by a God who accepts and desires you.
You have been set apart as an irreplaceable mark on creation.
You are loved by Love Himself.
How would your day be changed if you thoroughly embraced your identity as chosen, holy and beloved?
What about your life?