Our New Identity in Christ Makes Us Secure
Joe Louis was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 until he retired in 1949. During his time of service in the army, Louis was driving with a fellow GI when he was involved in a minor collision with a large truck. The truck driver got out, yelling and swearing at Louis, who just sat in the driver’s seat, smiling. “Why didn’t you get out and knock him flat?” asked his buddy after the truck driver had moved on. “Why should I?” replied Joe. “When somebody insulted Caruso, did he sing an aria for him?”
This story well illustrates the theme of identity. The truck driver clearly didn’t know the real identity of the person he was cursing, for if he had, he would have treated him in a dramatically different way! On the other hand, Joe Louis knew who he was—the best boxer in the world—and therefore he had nothing to prove. Many other men in his position would have been tempted to fight back or at least return insult for insult. But Louis was secure enough in his identity to understand that such a response would only be degrading. The truck driver’s opinion of him was irrelevant to Joe’s self-understanding.
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