I was recently reading a discussion between some Christian friend's about the situation regarding the U.S. military and ISIS. One of the people mentioned what Obama was doing with "our military" and it got me thinking about identity. That thinking turned into the following thread of tweets:
The contexts God has given to us are wonderful gifts. It's good to remember that the Apostle Paul used his Roman citizenship and Jewish ethnicity when it helped his cause of doing the work of God's kingdom. We know that it is acceptable to embrace many labels in this life.
I'm an American but far beyond, before, and above that I am a Christian and nothing defines me more than my relationship to God through Christ as a citizen of his heavenly kingdom. I'm his ambassador on this earth (2 Corinthians 5:20). Wherever I live, wherever I go I am representing my home country of heaven and the will of God which is my primary culture.
If I am to be primarily defined by an allegiance or political tie then it must not be to a man-made organization but to King Jesus and His kingdom. Most accurately stated, I'm a Christian living in the United States of America. I'm a citizen of this country and I love a lot about it but it has no hold on me.
My main point is that we must allow ourselves to be primarily defined by our relationship to God and His kingdom and not any man or his nation. In doing this we become capable of better loving and serving whatever nation we are most connected to on earth and are able to transcend man-made social borders that draw people into an Us vs. Them mentality which endangers our commitment to Jesus.
One small way we can begin to become more intentional about allowing ourselves to be defined more by our relationship to God through Christ and less by the country we live in is to pay attention to what we are saying whenever we say "we" or "our", especially when engaging in political discussion. In other words, when we talk about ourselves who are we talking about?