Who am I? Really?
This is one of the classic questions that we occasionally find ourselves asking.
And it is an important question because the answer will guide much of our actions and reactions in life. This question is rooted in how we define our IDENTITY.
Our Identity can be based on many things. It could be based on my tribe, nation, behavior, sexual preference, achievements, role, other’s opinions, my delusional thoughts, physical appearance, intellectual abilities, education, awards, heritage, toys, peer group, level of power, relationships with others, pedigree, position, gender, marital status, wealth/poverty, political affiliation, job, career, caste or even culture.
With so many choices for identity, how do we ensure we pick the right one? Here are two examples that illustrate.
Let’s say my identity is:
I am just one of the billions of people on the planet, no one special, born-live-die, part of the circle of life, and all I am is without any real value or meaning.
- How will that belief impact my reactions to difficulties in life?
- How will it change the way I make decisions?
- Will I see more or less meaning for my life?
- Will I value others more or less?
- How will it affect my marriage relationship and my commitment to fidelity with my spouse?
- What will I value the most?
Now, let’s say my identity is:
I am a child of a loving creator, designed in the womb, beloved and valued, watched over and never alone, and in an unbreakable relationship with my creator.
- Will I consider others more or less valuable?
- Will I feel less fear and take more risks?
- Will I see my life as having more or less meaning?
- What will I do differently if I encounter disappointments, challenges and setbacks?
- How will that affect my view of and relationship with my spouse?
We can see from these two examples that how you and I answer the question of “Who am I?” matters significantly.
I think of how many times I have encountered problems and wondered if God still cared or if I still mattered to Him?
If the answer is that God doesn’t care or I don’t matter to Him, then I have a real problem.
If the answer was YES God does care, then I have identity confusion and I need to get my thinking back in line with God.
His thinking is clear and God’s word has much to say about this question of Identity for His children.
John 15:15 (Friend of God), John 15:16 (Chosen), Romans 6:8 (Freed from slavery), 1 Peter 2:9 (special possession of God), Ephesians 2:10 (God’s Poem), 2 Corinthians 5:17 (new creation), Ephesians 2:19-20 (members of God’s household), Ephesians 5:22 (Dwelling place of Holy Spirit), Romans 8:29-30 (we are no accident!).
So let me summarize:
- Every human desires to know their true identity.
- We each try to establish our identity on something.
- That identity affects everything in our life.
- We often struggle to maintain our identity when we in hardship.
- We can identify the source of our identity by watching how we live.
- God has clearly declared our identity in His word.
- What do I tend to base my identity on?
- Why do I do that?
- How is a mistaken identity causing negative effects in my life?
Christian selfhood is not defined in terms of who we are in and of ourselves. It’s defined in terms of what God does to us and the relationship he creates with us and the destiny he appoints for us. God made us who we are so we could make known who he is. Our identity is for the sake of making known his identity. – John Piper