In the month of September, my husband and I made a commitment to pursue reading the Book of Ephesians together, over and over, until we gain the best possible understanding of its many wonderful lessons. Having read it twice in the Holman’s and once in the REV version, we decided to pick up The Message version to begin this week.
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with The Message version, but there’s no denying that it certainly brings a different depth of perspective to passages we might otherwise grow blind to with the small variances between standard translations.
While flipping through The Message for a preliminary overview of Ephesians, there was a line I came across that I had to pause and reread many times, and each time it resounded louder and deeper in my soul. In a loose translation of Ephesians 1:11, The Message reads: “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.”
It might be for personal reasons that this translation stuck with me. At 25-years-old, I’m no stranger to trying to figure out who I am and what I’m living for. Most of my peers seem to be on a similar journey of self-discovery, all being around the same age as me. And yet this translation of Ephesians 1:11 brought me so much peace as I read and reread it. It’s in Christ that I find out who I am and what I am living for. Whoever he says I am, that’s me. No need to go on a spiritual journey…I’ve already been found, seen, defined. And what am I living for?
Simple. For him. For God and Christ. Whatever they tell me to do, that’s my purpose (more on that in future blogs!), and what they tell me to live for, that is my total commission. No more questioning, wandering, no more confusion.
It’s amazing how so simple a phrase can help clear the fog of confusion that comes with navigating this fallen world. Those without Jesus as true north often flounder through attempt after attempt to discover their identity and purpose, throwing themselves into fleeting causes in hopes of finding something to live for—something that may also tell them who they are. Even as a Christ-follower, I’ve struggled with trying to find out what defines me.
And there it was today, right on the page: in Christ, we find who we are and what we’re meant to live for.
Time to get busy living.