That’s Who We Are

Jen Petersen

Read: James 1:19-27

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (v. 22)

As we are raising our two boys, we’re trying to instill in them a sense of family values. We often find ourselves saying things like, “We can use kind words with one another because that’s what Petersens do.” When their choices don’t reflect our family values, we point to the kind of person we’re hoping they’ll become to help redirect them to better choices. We remind them that Petersens are kind and generous and grateful. We tell stories of Petersens who have gone before us who reflect those values to help us remember who we are. We show them who they are meant to be.

James reminds me that I am not only a part of my earthly family, I’m also a child of God. This is who I am, even more so than my family identity. When I’m not acting like God’s family, James says to me, “That’s not how God’s family behaves. You’ve learned about God, but you’re not acting like God.”

The Bible is God’s story and helps us know what it means to act like God. It’s not enough to just read God’s Word. We need to take it in and let it change us to look more like Christ. If we call ourselves Christians, but we don’t act like the Jesus we read about in Scripture, we lie about who we are. We deceive ourselves and we give Jesus a bad name. —Jen Petersen

As you pray, ask God to help you live out of who he says you are in Jesus.