This second day of Kwanzaa is kujichagulia which is translated, self-determination and means that we “define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.”
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:12-14).
Here is a great Biblical example of kujichagulia! Paul says that we can choose to not be defined by our sins, that we can take ownership of ourselves because of the grace that God has given us through Jesus our Messiah! The law did just the opposite. The Law of Moses is an instrument of condemnation. It looks at the individual and says, “you have done XYZ, therefore you are a sinner.” It reminds us of how unworthy we ALL are to fellowship with a holy and righteous God, but Paul says that we have been freed from the law (v. 14) and that we no longer have to be defined or named by the Law. Why not? Because Jesus has set us free! It is no longer the Law of Moses which brands us sinners, but ourselves because of our refusal to obey God!
The verses in Romans 6:12-14 tells US to “not let sin reign” in us, that WE are not to “present [our] members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin”, but that WE are to “present [ourselves] to God. The responsibility is on us to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for, and speak for ourselves. It’s the same thing God tells Cain in Genesis 4:6-7.
Finally, Paul tells us in Romans 12:1-2 that WE must present ourselves to God, that this is OUR reasonable act of worship, and that WE are not to allow ourselves to be conformed to, defined by, named by, created for, or spoken for by this world, but that as WE renew our minds by the holy word of God we will be transformed! Right thinking leads to right acting!
Our world is really good at branding people in negative ways. If we allow the world to brand us and we do not determine within ourselves to claim what our God says about us we will suffer a great loss of identity! We can only find our true selves through the redemption that Christ offers us. We must let the old labels the world places on us die so that we can live in the truth Jesus died to give us!
(kwahn-ZAH YEH-noo EE-weh nah heh-REE)