READINGOld Testament: Genesis 42:1-17
Psalms: Psalms 61, 62, 68
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 5:1-8
Gospel: Mark 3:20-35
Evening Psalms: 68
DEVOTIONALToday we read of several cases of mistaken identity. Joseph's brothers do not recognize their kin, Corinthians mistake mothers for lovers, and Jesus is accused of doing work on behalf of evil. At first, I wondered how these people could so completely misidentify someone. Would I ever not recognize my own brother? Do they really need lessons on how to plunder a strong man’s house?
Once, in college, I was riding an elevator up to my friend's dorm to work on a project. These particular elevators were notoriously slow, and during the ride, a girl from my friend's building swore she knew me from a party. It became clear from the description of this particular soiree and the debauchery there present, that there was no way I had been amongst its guests.
Some hours after clearing up the confusion, I began to wonder if I should have been there. Why wasn't I the guy at that party? Some of it sounded fun! What had I missed? Maybe I should be the kind of person who goes to more parties and wins the approval of more girls in my friends’ buildings.
Or maybe I shouldn't worry about it, because that's not what's important, and that's not who I am, and that's not whose approval matters.
How someone could misidentify a brother seems more understandable after further thought; I had nearly misidentified who I should be. This wasn't the only time I considered I should be someone else, and I'll probably continue to do it. But my prayer is that I might continue to learn my identity by learning who God is calling me to be, to know that God loves who I am, regardless of who I was or who I will become, and that God's infinite love is more than any approval I could crave.