Good morning. Thank you for being here. I appreciate your presence this morning as we look at one of my favorite stories from the Bible. It’s a story where Jesus is walking with his disciples and he asks them what I think is a very thought provoking question. He asks: “Who do people say I am?”
How interesting! Just think about that for a moment. Why would Jesus Christ want to know what other people were saying about him? Could he or would he really be effected by their answers? I mean, even today, if I were to ask you, “What do you believe about Jesus?” what might some of your answers be? Some would say he is one of many ascended masters. Some would say he is the master teacher. Some would say he was a great prophet or a great healer – or both. In Unity, Jesus is often called the way shower – meaning he is both God and man and he shows us the divine Christ potential that lies within each of us. Others may call him, as I do, their Lord and Savior, or even Messiah. But does it really matter to Jesus what you or I call him? I mean, does the label we choose for him change who he is? No, of course not, it simply helps us to consciously define our own relationship with him.
“Well,” the disciples say, “some say you are Moses, or Elijah, or another one of the other great prophets – or even John the Baptist – come back to life.”
Really? Interesting again! Does this seem to suggest that the people might actually believe in reincarnation? Or does it suggest – as Unity teaches us – that we are all unique expressions of the same Divine essence? If so, maybe –just maybe – when the people recognized that God spark – that light of truth in someone – as they certainly must have in Jesus as well as in the prophets of old – maybe they thought or sensed that it was really the same person, the same spirit, or the same God revealing itself to them over and over again. More importantly, if we believe this today, then that same God spark we see in them – in Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, and yes even in Jesus – we must also see in ourselves and in one another for we are all one.
“And you?” Jesus asks. “Who do you say I am?”
Does he really need to ask this question? Do the apostles’ answers or our answers benefit him or us? Remember at this point the people – and surely the disciples and apostles – would already know the story of the burning bush when God revealed his name to Moses as the great I AM Who I AM, a story that most people know well today. Even the very name God gives to himself as he addresses Moses seems to suggest that God simply is. I AM is unchanged. He is unshaken. He is unmoved. He is the same always: yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I Am is the source of all good. Myrtle Fillmore, the Mother of Unity, says, “When we learn to be still and know the I AM, we lack nothing.”
So why would Jesus ask, “Who do you say I AM?”
Perhaps Jesus is not asking us simply to decide an answer in reference to himself. Yes, surely our answer can and will define our relationship with him, for as we’ve discussed many times our thoughts and words do have creative power. They define and shape our reality. They also reveal our core beliefs and values hidden beneath them. Perhaps though, Jesus is also asking us how we define ourselves. Who do you say you are, Sandy Souder? Who do you say you are, Susan Davis? This answer is quite important too, isn’t it? The labels we place on ourselves matter too.
In asking the question, “Who do you say I AM?” Jesus is really giving the apostles – and by extension us – an opportunity to move from unconscious thoughts, words, and beliefs about God, ourselves, and others into consciously defining our relationships with the Divine and with others, as well as consciously deciding just who it is we want to be. Whether we call him the Christ, or God, or the Messiah, Master, Lord, or simply Teacher greatly shapes that relationship just as it does if we identify our Higher Power as Father or Mother, or as Creator, Universe, Buddha, or Goddess.
So too, what we call ourselves and think and say about ourselves also greatly shapes our relationships with God and others. If we believe that we are each unique expressions of the same great I AM, we should not think or say anything about ourselves or each other that we would not say of God. Yet, we do this all the time. I know I am guilty of it. The bible says we are made in God’s own image and likeness, so really we are not in alignment with our higher self, our higher power, or our divine nature when we declare ourselves – or anyone else – as anything less than whole, healthy, blessed, abundant, complete, and loved. Again, Mother Myrtle, says “God is love, and it is the nature of Divine love to give life, joy, peace, and health.” Sadly, we often say and think things about ourselves that are out of alignment with this, don’t we? Let’s take a moment to examine some of the things that we may unconsciously think and say about ourselves. Do these phrases or similar ones ever enter your mind or pass through your lips?
I am so tired. I’m so sick and tired of this.
I’m out of shape. I’m so overweight.
I’m ugly. I’m never going to find a mate.
I’m always going to be alone. I’m so broke.
I’ll never get out of debt. I’m never going to be able to retire.
I’m never going to get ahead with money. I’m getting old.
I’m a failure. I’m a loser.
I don’t deserve happiness. Nobody really likes me .
I’m bad. I’m a sinner. I’m not good enough.
Ever get a case of the not enough? Not smart enough. Not good enough. Not successful enough. Not pretty enough. Not thin enough. No rich enough. Not whatever enough. Yuck! Just
thinking those kind of thoughts or speaking those kind of words feels awful! It changes the very energy around and within us, and it affects those around us too. Yet, we get stuck in these bad habits, don’t we? I know I do. The tapes unconsciously replay in our minds. They are like a broken record repeating over and over and over again. But if we stop to really listen to them what are they telling us? They tell us what we really think and believe about ourselves – about others – about our God. Are these the things we really want to tell ourselves? Are these the labels – or the limits – we want to place on ourselves and others? Do you ever think or say something like:
He’s so cheap. She is so stubborn. That kid has a bad attitude.
Really? Is that so, or is that simply our perception of another individual? When we say someone is cheap, we have to ask ourselves do I have a right to judge someone else’s financial decisions or to expect someone else’s generosity? If we say someone is stubborn, are we really the one who is being inflexible? If we don’t like someone’s attitude, is it really because we just don’t like that individual or certain aspects of their personality? Or is it our own attitude that needs to be adjusted?
So I want to challenge us this week to stop to think consciously about what we are declaring over our own health, our finances, our relationships, and our beloved friends and family simply by thinking and talking unconsciously.
Where are my Law of Attraction peeps? Listen up! You’ll like this part. The Law of Attraction states, “You are what you think. Whatever you focus your thoughts, words, and feelings on consistently will manifest in your life. There are no exceptions to this rule.” See, we aren’t talking about fleeting or random thoughts here. Those will happen. We are talking about thoughts and words
that stem from our core beliefs. Often, these false beliefs come out unconsciously. They are so subtle that sometimes we can only identify them by examining our emotions. Why look at our emotions? Regardless of what we are thinking and speaking – no matter how PC or educated or evolved we think
we are – it is our feelings that reveal to us what we truly believe. As humans, we feel things deeply. So deeply that we sometimes don’t consciously realize how those feelings are bleeding out into our thoughts and words – and our actions. Ever sabotage yourself? Look at your emotions. Look at your core beliefs. You will see why pretty quickly. Okay. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that once we know what these false beliefs are we can begin to consciously reshape them into beliefs that are more aligned with our higher self, our divine mind. How do we do this? We can begin simply today to think and speak words of gratitude and appreciation to the people in our lives. Do you have a challenging person in your world? Find something to appreciate about them. Tell them what you appreciate about them. You’ll see that relationship change. If you already love someone and think they are fabulous, tell them that too. We get more of what we focus on. We can also begin to consciously declare God’s blessings of health and abundance over ourselves and others. If we do this regularly and consistently, our core beliefs will change. It is a process, but change will come. Try it. You’ll like it. Do it consistently.
Then something incredible happens. We begin to see our life’s work, our passions, our health, our finances, and our relationships coming into Divine order. They have to because by changing our thoughts and words we are changing our feelings and our core beliefs about who we say we are, who we say each other is, and who we say our God is. By doing this we are aligning ourselves with the Truth. We simply begin to declare what it is that we already know.
This is why in Unity we turn to affirmative prayer. We begin to consciously and purposefully declare health, abundance, prosperity, and all good blessings over ourselves and others. We affirm who we say we are by declaring things like:
I am healthy. I am happy. I am whole.
I am alive. I am free. I am blessed.
I am joyful. I am beautiful. I am successful.
I am prosperous. I am abundant. I am peaceful.
I am calm and serene. I am hopeful. I am connected .
I am loved. I am love. I am a child of God.
I am made in God’s own image and likeness.
And if you feel comfortable in going even further you can also say things like:
I am a divine expression.
I am one with God.
I am that I am.
I am God.
Do you feel the difference in the energy of those statements? They resonate because they are true! So as we enter into our meditation today, I challenge us each to see Jesus standing before us in our mind’s eye asking each of us, “Who do you say I AM?” Take the time to answer for yourself in a conscious way – not only who you think Jesus is – but also how you wish to see others and just who it is that you want to be. Then as we go forth from this place, we can begin to consciously think, say, and live as who we say we are.
[SS1]Maybe you might consider using a feminine reference in a couple of these?
[SS2]Never enough time, maybe some more common ones, I’m hurt, I’m lonely, I’m mad, scared,
[SS3]This isn’t Law of Attraction…really, it’s New Thought….
[SS4]You might want to take a couple and have them repeat them with you are a power builder into meditation