Father Hopko, smelling fumes…and remembering who defines me. {Day 21}

If you have been tracking with me for any time, you know I often look at Father Thomas Hopko’s 55 Maxims for Christian Living. Today this one struck me:
45. Be defined and bound by God alone.
And I ask myself, who do I allow to define me? Friends? Family? Culture?
To whom am I bound? Same groups?
Immediately, I want to say what I know to be the “right” answer…just like when we went up front for the children’s mini-sermon in church. It always seemed like a good bet to shout “JESUS!” as the answer to any question the pastor asked.
I know Father Hopko has it right.
God made me. He defines me. He alone should set my bounds.
I feel rather confident in that, until something shakes me.
How about you? Do things ever shake you? Make you question who defines you?
Obviously, family and friends help define me. They are the people closest to me, the ones who know me best.
But it is foolish to base my self-worth on that.
That reminder comes hard when I find myself smelling fumes because someone has thrown me under the bus.
Or I get passed over for a speaking engagement or teaching position.
Or I don’t get invited to the party all my friends are attending.
I react, get a bit angry…then I come back to a place of knowing who defines me.
It isn’t people, even those I love.
The second question is even bigger. By whom am I bound?
Who makes the rules for my life? What bounds do I use in my daily life to make the hundred choices I have to make?
I want the answer to be unequivocally GOD. But, it isn’t.
Sometimes, it is me.
No need for examples. You, no doubt, have enough examples of your own.
My strong will set the bounds for me far too often. God and I are working on that.
Short and sweet today….and lots to consider.
Be defined and bound by God alone…so be it!
I would love to hear your thoughts.
We will talk again tomorrow…
I’m participating with The Nester in 31 Days of Examining My Heart.
This is Day 19.
You can find all 31 Dayers here. There are so many wonderful topics.
If you miss any days in the series, you can find the introduction and each day’s post here.

Beth Painter is a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.

Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life!