I once heard a story of a young girl who lived an orphanage where she had no identity or value until she was adopted by a childless couple who absolutely adored her and showered their love on her. Sadly, she was never able to accept and appreciate all that they wanted to give her: a new name, a wonderful place to live, an extended loving family, lingering conversations around the dinner table.
This girl continued to reject or ignore all of it; including her adoptive parents. It reminded me of many Christians. When we begin to follow Jesus, we are also given a new name, an extended family, we have an adoring father, communion around the table, and invitation to live the abundant life on earth.
But, do we accept it? Do we take time to discover that following Jesus means that everything changes? That our status moves from being an orphan to being welcomed into God's family with all his benefits.
And as leaders, have we made imparting our identity as a Jesus follower of primary importance?