Redefining Chosen


Sometimes small ‘aha’ moments with the Lord are the most life-changing experiences. Like in 1 Kings 19, God may not be in the earthquake or the fire, He might be in the still small whisper.

In one moment, I felt the Lord prompt me to list the times that I felt I was disqualified from being defined as “chosen”. 

I sat there writing out all 5 distinct situations. Yes, five. That’s all I could come up with. I swore there were much more, I just couldn’t think of them. I sure felt them!

Give me 2 days, God, I’ll show you them! 

Then He asked me to write out the times I HAVE been chosen. That list turned out to be quite a bit longer. I could have kept on writing. I kept recalling more. And more. And more. As I stared at my lists I also noticed a significant difference between their themes and overall impact on my life. The list was areas of influence to a group larger than I was. The “chosen” list brought me opportunities and access to life experience that I’ve truly gleaned from. WHAT? 

That strong group of instances where I didn’t feel chosen for.... were relationships. I’m glad they never worked out, opportunities I’m grateful I didn’t receive, and rejections from places that would have discouraged me.

They were the “dodged that bullet” instances. WHAT? I was dumbfounded. 

Do we end up attaching our identity and worth to the times we discount ourselves in circumstances of rejection or negative instances that might be for our own protection?
I sure needed to reframe my definition of “chosen”.  I needed to build a positive relationship with that word because it WAS something that I could define myself as being. 

John 15:16 says: You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.” We are all chosen for different opportunities, and sometimes that being “chosen” for one thing means that you can’t also be chosen for something else. Consider that. Which no’s have led you to better yes’s? 

We might need to do this regularly. Anytime you hear a word that you immediately disregard yourself as.. ex: Creative, talented, smart, innovative, good, enough, etc., and spend some time thinking about how you define the word and where you’ve created that definition of the word.

More than likely, you’ve put it in a box to be described only one way – the way that seemingly excludes you.

Could this possibly be something that’s keeping you from moving forward in your life? Think of other ways the word can be defined. Look for themes. Consider their impact. Are you declaring something over yourself that you need to stop saying? 

Perhaps you’re in the middle of a struggle with a particular word right now and can’t figure it out. Ask someone how they would define it. Ask someone what they think about that word with reference to you. Sometimes getting an external perspective is what we need. You can even ask me! I’d totally be open to unpacking a word with you! And most importantly, ask God to show you why that word is troublesome for you. You never know what you might discover, or rather, uncover. 

And thank you, Stasi. I get it now. 

- Sharlene O'Reilly