Identity is important to us as people. We want to know who we are and what our priorities are. But we also want other people to know that too. We seek labels to help others better know us. Online personality tests pull us in so that we can better discover who we are. We define ourselves, and others, by what we do and how well we perform.
Tangible identities make things easier. As Christians, these tangible markers help us to be placed in categories of our faith. Money is tangible and so we give. Time is manageable and so we serve. Prayer is audible faith, and so we pray.
But God isn’t interested in the tangible; He is interested in the heart. So what if our hearts looked different? What if we gave because we couldn’t stand the thought of keeping what isn’t ours in the first place? What if we served because a fire was set in our soul for the hurting and the broken? What if we prayed, not because we told someone, “I’m praying for you”, but because we fully believed in the power of prayer?
In the first 18 verses of Matthew 6 we are asked to question our hearts. It is not easy to look deeper and truly discover our motives. This scripture calls us to look past our weekly rituals with God and instead, seek a private relationship with Him; a relationship that goes beyond robotic-like actions and suppresses our desire to be seen by others; a relationship where our hearts are so captivated by His goodness that we can’t help but seek him.
Being able to move past our longing to have tangible ways to identify our faith takes boldness and humility. Being daring enough to jump into the messiness of following Him, because our hearts can’t stand the thought of missing a moment with Him, requires us to be madly in love with our creator.