who are you?
This simple question is perhaps one of the most difficult question to answer, simply because they can be so many true answers; I’m a human, I’m tall, I’m a Norwegian, I’m a lover of chocolate, I’m a fan of Arsenal FC, I’m a doctor, I’m a world changer, all these might be true but is that the truth of who you are?
Over the years, people have found their identity in what they do, so much so we hear of men committing suicide when they went bankrupt or lost their jobs, we’ve heard of women going into remission and even mental derangement at the loss of a child, they ask themselves; apart from this, who am I? And when they can get no answer, they begin to spiral into a very dark place in life, that slowly takes away their very lives.
So, who are you? Are you your job? Are you your family name? Are you what you’ve done or what you’ve failed to do? We might be identified by many things but our identity must be beyond those things, if your greatest identity is your job, then your job becomes your greatest priority in life, you can sacrifice anything for that job, you must protect that job because the day it goes from you, it may feel as though the ground has been snatched from under your feet (maybe this is why many people have died shortly after retirement, maybe). If your greatest identity is your family, your husband and your kids, what happens when the kids all grow up and leave the nest, what happens when nature takes it’s course and your husband dies, who are you then? Hopelessness can be defined as a state when you only know who you were, never knowing who you are or who you can become. Once your definition of who you are is what you had, who you were, what you’ve done, your lost, just another face in the crowd.
If you have to protect that which identifies you for it to survive, you have the wrong identity
Look around your world today is there a thing or a person whom you can make the source of your identity, that won’t fail you, that won’t grow old, that won’t fade, that won’t fad out, that won’t need to be updated or upgraded? If you look very well, you soon come to the conclusion that all earthly identities ends here on earth, all identities gotten with time, end in time. You must look for an eternal identity uninfluenced by time, space and matter.
In the bible Jesus asked his disciples at one time ‘who do people say I am?’, in other words how do they identify me? The disciples told him, they identified him with great prophets of time past, unsatisfied with this answer, he asked his disciples ‘who do you say I am?’ and Peter gave an answer so insightful, Jesus (probably knowing Peter ain’t that smart) said ‘flesh and blood did not reveal this to you but my father which is in heaven’. How did Peter Identify Jesus; ‘you are Christ, the Son of the living God’. So simple, so profound, so powerful, Peter Identified Jesus with the eternal God and because Jesus Identified with God eternal, nothing earthly could dislodge Him. It would have been true for Jesus to say ‘I’m Jewish’, it would have been true for Him to say ‘I’m a carpenter’ but the truth of who He is, is who He is with God. So also dear believer, your greatest identity, the truth of who you are is who you are with God, a beloved child of God, a believer.
the truth of who you are is who you are with God
You are a believer before you are a human being with flesh and blood, you are a believer before you are African or European, you are a believer before you are a Democrat or Republican, you are a believer before you are Mechanic or Engineer (or even blogger), you are a believer before you are a husband or a wife, you are a Christian before you are a father or a mother, you are a Christian before you are white or black, you are a christian before you are male or female, you are a believer before you are student or professional, you are a believer before you are Aries or Leo (if you believe those things), you are a believer before you are your achievements or your failures, you are a believer before you are your bank account or lack of a bank account, before your debts or your bonds, before your personality type or emotional state, you are a believer and this is supremely who you are.
The reason this is important is because your greatest identity, determines your every other identity; if the doctor say’s you are suffering from acute depression that’s in your genes, you can shout in faith; No I’m not! For the Joy of the Lord is my Strength, if they say you gonna die from a sickness, you can shout; No I won’t for by His stripes I am healed, if thoughts of bitterness and malice comes to you, you can refuse it stay and declare; Freely have I received (forgiveness), freely will I give (forgiveness). If they identify you with an earthly condition that is not in consonance with your eternal identity, you can override it by faith and enforce the identity of God over you. What is the identity of God over you?; His Beloved, the favoured one, he that is blessed on all sides, she that is fruitful in every way, the joyous, the giver, the Patient, the loving, the healthy, the rich, the generous, the success, the righteous, blameless, justified, redeemed etc(for a full listing of who you are please consult the nearest bible generally and Gal 5:22 specifically).
You can be a believer and a doctor, it simply means you are a believer who’s profession is a doctor, a doctor who practices according to the principles of Christ, being a doctor is a lesser identity under the identity of Christ, and it’s an important part of who you are. You can be a christian and a lawyer, a lawyer practicing law according to the principles of Christ, a business man doing business according to the principles of Christ, a husband leading the home according to the principles of Christ and for the purpose of Christ, the list goes on.
So, though you can be a Christian doctor or Christian Film maker, there is no such thing as a Christian murderer, a Christian Prostitute or even a Christian liar, because those things do not line up with your greatest identity. You can’t be a christian and a murderer, you cant be a Christian and still be an adulterer or the likes, you can be a Christian who once was a murderer, a Christian who once murdered but not a christian who murders. The fact you are now a believer redefines your identities, so Paul who once persecuted the church now builds the church, who you are in Christ alters and keeps altering your entire life.
You can’t be a christian and a murderer, you cant be a Christian and still be an adulterer or the likes, you can be a Christian who once was a murderer, a Christian who once murdered but not a christian who murders.
This truth is radical and you must understand that even if you lied last week, you are not a liar, you are simply a Christian who lied (and you should repent), because your identity is the righteousness of God, and that righteousness will swallow every unrighteousness. Even if you failed some huge and important exam this afternoon (for the fifth time in a role), you’re identity is not a failure, you are not a failure, you are simply a christian who failed an exam, because your identity is that Christ is made unto you wisdom. So that you do stuff that are outside your identity in Christ doesn’t change your identity in Christ, it just means your a bit dumb (sorry) and acting stupid but like Andrew Wommack say’s ‘God loves you, stupid’.
Let me give an analogy to help clear the dust; when a baby is born, he/she is immediately given the full rights of a human, because the baby is a human, though it has no teeth like a matured human, it’s still human, though it can’t tell it’s left from it’s right like a matured human, it’s still human, though it’s intellectually undeveloped (aka, dumb), it’s still human, a person who harms a child will face the wrath of the law like a person who harms a matured human. So what differentiates the baby and the man? Basically; Time, food and exposure, give that baby 20 years (time), and during this 20 years feed and nourish him well (food) and also send him to school, teach him a 2nd language, take him round the world (exposure), and at the end of this period, he’ll emerge a man who has teeth, can tell his left from his right and is intellectually developed. Likewise for every identity in a believers life contrary to that of Christ, in the process of time, as the believer feeds continuously from the Word of God and is exposed to the presence of God, he/she will overcome it. No one prays for a baby who pees on the bed or who can’t feed himself, because the baby is a baby, we would on the other hand pray for a 32 year old man who still pees on the bed, because he ought to have naturally outgrown those things. It’s the same in the faith; Paul said ‘when I was a child I spoke as a child but when I became a man, I put away childish things’. Remember this truth; continuity in growth is the key to maturity.
Basically; Time, food and exposure
It also goes the other way, don’t define yourself as the valedictorian of your set, the prettiest girl in all the county, the brain box behind the internet or even your father’s favorite child, no positive experience is comparable to Christ in you, like scripture points out ‘everything you have was given to you’.
So, let me ask again, who are you?