Libby and I first met Ben when he was fourteen. His mother made him come to the Sunday School class that Libby was teaching. His body language shouted that he hated being there. But, as we got to know him, we realized that he just hated being anywhere. Tough home life, few friends, bad start to teen years made him a pretty withdrawn, angry person.
As you can imagine, it’s hard to stay that way if you spend a lot of time around Libby. Ben became attached to our family, so we were able to follow his development. He managed to go to college, and applied for a semester program at Disney World. After college he went to work for Disney. As far as we know, he still does.
He visited us after working for a year or two. We were stunned by the change in his life. Some of the change was due to just growing up some. But, most of it was a result of a new identity – a new identity forged by Disney.
You may know that Disney doesn’t have employees. It has cast members who come to take pride, not in working their shift, put in going on stage to put on a grand production. Ben managed a water ride. That was his stage.
When he visited us he remarked about how poor the service was at the fast food places he had visited, how grumpy people seemed to be, not really that interested in serving. He had once been one of those people. Again, we were floored.
One of the huge things the Bible says is that God gives us a new identity. And that new identify gives us a new purpose. A new purpose that has the potential to shape everything else we do.
This coming Sunday, I will be teaching on What We Most Need to Know About Our Purpose. We will be looking at 1 Peter 2:4-10. There are some pretty incredible statements about the new identity that people get when they have come to Christ. The new identity gives us the role of being ‘priests’.
What would happen if every follower of Christ functioned primarily as a priest, serving God and serving others?
In the family? At work? At school? In town?
What challenges do we face that keep us from serving as priests?
What do you think about our new identity and purpose?