Who are you?

I’ve struggled my entire life with self-esteem, and I tend to put my worth in my appearance. If only I lose this weight, try this hair ‘do, wear that makeup, or buy this sweater … Just so you know, it’s never worked. At least not long-term. Even if I believed I was liked for my appearance, it wasn’t good enough. I so desperately want to be smart, creative, funny and interesting. I often put up facades with people, afraid if they really get to know me, they would find me boring.

It’s a constant struggle to balance being unique with fitting in, isn’t it? We usually think of identity as what makes us different. But the Latin origin is identitās or ident, meaning “repeat” or the same. To be able to identify something, you have to know what’s similar, to have something to compare it to. Children can’t identify an apple until they’ve seen more than one, for example.

The trouble is, we usually compare ourselves to the world. People are desperate to discover themselves, looking to anything to find their identity through appearance, family, friends, occupation, even failures and sins. But that is not what defines you. If you let it, you will be chasing something like a hamster in a wheel.

To put your identity in this world, is to rely on things that are temporal, changing from year to year or day to day, even hour to hour. Your self-worth is not in what you look like or what you do. It’s in who you are. It’s natural to look to your family, your parents, to discern who you are. We are relational beings after all, it’s how God created us. I’m a mother, wife, daughter, sister … All things that are well and good. But I am more than a physical being. I have been created in the image of God, a spiritual being.

If we can look to our birth fathers to tell us who we are, how much more can we identify with a Heavenly Father to tell us who we are spiritually? As Bob George writes in his book Classic Christianity: “There is only one way to determine your identity that cannot be shaken, one foundation that cannot be taken away from you: ‘I am a child of God.’ “

Even Jesus, “knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God” …washed the disciples feet. With full confidence in who He was in His Father, he humbled himself to the lowliest of positions in the society (even slaves weren’t to touch their masters feet). Setting the ultimate example for us, Jesus shows that we can have full confidence in who we are in Christ to accomplish His work for us on this earth.

Our Bible study leader likened it to the children’s book, Are You My Mother? about a little bird desperately searching for his mom. He realizes none of the things he comes across are anything like him, they are not the same. He is searching for his identity, who is he? When he finally finds his mom, he knows! The bird is home and his mother’s right there ready with a worm to feed him.

Once we finally look to our Heavenly Father to find our identity, we can stop looking to the world for our confidence. We can truly know that we are “home.” To top it off, we will be ready to accept whatever he has prepared for us in advance. He wants to feed you, to bless you! Don’t you just love that? He is just waiting for you, to shower you with blessings!

“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” I Peter 2:9

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5 thoughts on “Who are you?

  1. Sara,

    Wow, you have done an excellent job internalizing and articulating the importantance and meaning of finding our identity in Christ. In addition to being a treasured child of God you are also a great writer!

    Kevin.

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