One of the best ways to understand our Australian identity is to travel to another country.
During my recent trip to Canada, I discovered many ways in which Aussies differ.
Canadians love eating poutine (a fancy version of chips and gravy), but we love meat pies, and of course, Vegemite.
Canadians love ice hockey and curling, but Aussies follow rugby and AFL.
But beyond food and sport, there are other ways in which our identities different, even though we share so much with our Commonwealth cousins.
When it comes to our Christian identity, it’s sometimes difficult to see a difference between us and those in the world.
After all, we still battle with the same temptations that all humans face.
Yet, as those who have been given freedom by Jesus, we now have the Spirit of God in us, leading us to bear his fruit.
And that will lead us to show love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians chapter 5 verses 22 and 23.)
This is our new identity, as we live the new life that God has given us.
And the result of this is a new community that enjoys this fruit through the special relationships that stand on the foundation of the love and mercy shown us in Christ.
Which means that the benefits of following Jesus don’t stop at our personal forgiveness and hope: they extend to the richness of life together, as we enjoy a taste of the perfect life in Heaven.
So, Christians, let’s pray that God would continue to bring forth in us the fruit of his Spirit.
And if you’re not yet a follower of Jesus, then there’s no better time to find forgiveness and hope in him, so that you might also feel the love of true community.