Adrift or Anchored?
What informs your thoughts about who you are? What informs you on what to pursue for significance? What is it you are seeking to fulfill you? Answering these questions can be challenging. We all want our lives to count for something, but if we’re wrong we don’t get a redo on the time that we’ve lost.
One common place people may look to answer these questions is our surrounding culture. Culture, according to Wikipedia, is a general term for the social behaviors and norms found in human societies. One challenge with getting your answers from culture is that it is always adrift. Let me explain.
Consider this: culture is an ever-changing voice determining norms and what’s acceptable, and it’s assigning significance based on itself. Culture speaks into and influences the things it claims we should care about, how we should look, what car we should drive, who we should hang out with, how much money we should make, and even where we should live. Culture reinforces these messages through a vast array of mediums: movies, songs, television, commercials, news, Facebook, organizations, and the internet, just to name a few. All these messages impact how we feel about ourselves, what we strive for, what we seek to gain for worth and value, and even how we view ourselves and others.
When following culture’s lead, it seems one can never measure up because the target is elusive and ever-changing. What’s “in” today may not be tomorrow. What’s “politically correct” today may not be tomorrow. What is “right” today may be “wrong” tomorrow. Sometimes change can be very subtle and can leave people imperceptibly adrift. Culture instructs the way to go while seemly promising contentment, satisfaction, value, and purpose.
Dr. David Powlison (CCEF on the Go, February 6, 2017) stated:
The fallen human heart, without fail, misconstrues who I am. The human heart needs something outside of itself to instruct and inform in the areas of identity, true value, satisfaction, direction, and purpose.
The question is, will the “voice” from the outside be an ever-changing voice (like culture’s) or a never-changing voice that gives a solid foundation from which to view yourself and others? Is there a voice that can do all these things while making solid promises that will not lead astray? This author believes there is one such voice. A voice that will be an anchor so we don’t get swept away by the undertows, tides, and waves of life and culture. The voice is that of the Creator of the universe. He created us, we are accountable to Him, He loves us, He guides through His Word, He sent His Son Jesus to prove His love, and He gives direction, significance, and purpose to life.
Consider these verses for guidance, direction, and promise:
2 Timothy 3:16,17
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
1 John 5:11–13
And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
As you consider who you are, your value, and your purpose, listen to what the Bible says and consider who Jesus is and what He has done for us. You will find that He alone is the anchor to keep you from being adrift.
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Gary Webb is the Adult Ministries Pastor. He and his wife, Beth, were transferred down to Columbus from Toledo in 1988 while he worked for UPS. Gary worked as an engineer for over 12 years for UPS and Children’s Hospital. During those years the Webbs became involved at Grace. He joined the pastoral staff in 2000. Gary studied engineering (University of Toledo) and theology (Grace Seminary). Gary enjoys coaching, running, biking, swimming and hiking. Gary and Beth have three adult children and three grandchildren.