Do You Know Who You Are?
Maybe you can answer this question really quick, maybe you haven’t thought about it, or perhaps you are still trying to figure it out. We all have behaviors which reflect who we are, and oftentimes, others have a very clear picture of who we are even if we do not.
Self examination is key to knowing who you are. The Bible provides a great number of examples for which you may be able to identify: Luke 10:30 tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. Are you compassionate like he was? Do you stop to help those in need and go beyond what is required? Or maybe you are like the priest and Levite who lacked the compassion to stop and help those in need. You may even be like the cruel persons who robbed and injured the victim of the parable.
Perhaps you bear similarity to those in Luke 10:39, Martha and Mary. Mary was focused on every word Jesus was sharing. Martha worried herself with other priorities rather than focusing on Jesus. Do either of these sound like you?
In Matthew. 13 (Parable of Sower), there was described one who withered away when pressure began to come upon their life. Another individual described was one who was choked out of living a godly life through the lure of the pleasures of the world?
Do you know folks like the ones described so far? I certainly do. I have seen compassionate, uncompassionate, cruel, focused, unfocused, weak, materialistic – all of the above.
- I Thessalonians. 4:10b-12 – …But we exhort you, brethren, that ye abound more and more; and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your hands, even as we charged you; that ye may walk becomingly toward them that are without, and may have need of nothing.
Does that verse resemble you? Perhaps you are like the Corinthians of I Cor. 5, arrogant about how righteous you are? Are you like the folks of James 1:27 who visit the widowed and the fatherless? Or those of Phil. 4:8 filling your life with things that are true, honorable, pure and virtuous? Or perhaps you are or were a fornicator, idolater, adulterer, effeminate, thief, or drunkard as mentioned in I Cor. 6:9-10?
Are you timid or bold when taking God’s Word to the world? Or do you even do that? Maybe you are hiding your talent away to show the Lord when he comes? Have you prepared to be someone who is ready for the meat of the gospel? Is it about time? Can you defend the truth?
Does Gal. 5:22-23 describe characteristics that make up your life? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.”
Overall, whatever you see yourself as, if you asked five other people who spend time around you, would they agree with you? Do you know yourself? Is what you think a reality or are you fooling yourself? Would you feel comfortable saying:
- Psa 26:2 – Examine me, O Jehovah, and prove me; Try my heart and my mind.
Are You Content With Who You Are?
Are you content with who you are? Many folks would answer this in the negative. Surrounding the physical aspect of this question is a Billion dollar industry. If you are poor there are books and classes and seminars and videos to guide you to being rich. Do you not like being rich? There are folks who will be glad to replace your money with activities designed to make you happy about you. Perhaps you don’t like the way you look. There are products out there to make your bigger, stronger, smaller, faster,. You can be stimulated to grow hair, remove hair, change the color of your hair, or shorten or lengthen the appearance of your hair in moments. Not happy with your skin? It can be lightened, darkened, or written on. Your teeth can be whitened, straightened, and decorated. Not happy with the number of holes in your body? You can be pierced through and through with patterns galore. Perhaps great grandma and grandpa had 3 or 4 pairs of clothes and a pair of shoes (to share). The never ending supply of clothes and shoes is amazing.
You car, your home, even your spouse can be changed in the twinkle of an eye in this era. What about your friends? We have the internet, you don’t have to have the same old friends. You can have them in China, England, Australia. If you don’t want to deal with them, turn off the net, phone, or just put a block on them. With all of this at your fingertips how can you not he happy about who you are? Yet, again many people are not happy. They try to spend, eat, drink, or medicate to change the feelings they have, but no solution.
Some folks come to the conclusion they don’t like their behaviors. Maybe they are too nice. They decide they are pushovers and not assertive enough. On the other hand, maybe they say mean things and don’t treat people kindly. Maybe they feel they don’t care enough. Perhaps they don’t like images or thoughts in their heads? They feel like bad people. Is there any cure for folks who are not happy about themselves?
The Bible gives examples of individuals who suffered from not liking who they were. In Acts 5, Ananias and Saphira lied about how much money they had sold their property for and given to the needy. Why? They wanted to be people who received the praise of others. The Pharisees were a similar group, who sought the chief seats at feasts so they could be seen by men. Yes, even the hypocrites praying in the synagogues and street corners needed the praise of men. They were not happy with who they were without praise and attention.
All unhappiness with oneself is not bad though. It is true, the scriptures speak negatively of folks seeking riches and power such as Haman in the Persian Empire, Judas the betrayer of Jesus, and Diotrephes written of by John. Yet, men such as Paul, who once saw himself as Chief of sinners (I Timothy 1:15), found peace. Paul ultimately found contentment in all situations he was in (Philippians. 4:11). Also consider the men of Acts 2. Peter shared the message of the Kingdom of God with them, Christ died, was buried, and arose, and the Jews were pierced to the heart. They were not happy with their state. Yet, they took action to change their state and had “gladness and singleness of heart” (Acts 2:46).
Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?
This is an important question. We often direct our young people to think about professions. What do they want to be, as in a profession, when they grow up. However, shouldn’t the question be a focus on character which encompasses a lifelong pattern of living, rather than a vocation which can change with the whims of society and the fortunes of health? The scriptures provide a great deal of emphasis on the type of people we ought to be.
- 3 John 1:11 – Beloved, imitate not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
- 1Corinthians 11:1 – Be ye imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.
- John 13:15 – For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you.
- 1Peter 2:21 – For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps:
This is really the solution to knowing who you are. If you imitate Christ, you are a Christian. This is the solution to finding peace within yourself. If you know you walk as he walks, you are in the light (I John. 1:7). Though the whole of scriptures is a focus toward and on Christ, Colossians 3, paints a picture of Christ which we should all work for in our life. It calls for a new self which gets ever brighter as we mold ourselves into the image of Christ. I Timothy 2-3 and Titus 1-2 also provide direction for the kind of men and women we should strive to be. The examples are of leaders, virtuous, good reputations, encouraging, servants of mankind who look forward to the coming of Christ.
If you know you want to imitate Christ from the beginning, there are a great deal of problems you will never encounter.
Know Who You Are!
You are a creation of God. God created you in his image (Genesis. 1:26). Your purpose is to glorify God with good works (Ephesians. 2:10). If you come under his submission, repent and are baptized as commanded (Acts 2:38, Acts 17:30, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:1-7), then you are his Child (Galatians. 3:26, 4:7). Think about that. You can be considered a Child of God. If you are a child of God, ask yourself, what is the best way to honor my parent? Ephesians 6:1 tells us “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Proverbs 1:8-9 is more exact saying, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching; Indeed they are a graceful, wreath to your head, and ornaments about your neck.” If you are a son or daughter of God, act like one.
Have you ever wondered what it was like to be royalty? Have you wondered what it was like to be part of a family with a grand and reputable name? Have you imagined being heir to a vast domain? This is what you have as a child of God.
- 1 Peter 2:9-11 – But ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: who in time past were no people, but now are the people of God: who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your behavior seemly among the Gentiles; that, wherein they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Do you know who you are? If you do, you know what you need to do to fulfill the role God has given you. Are you happy with who you are? If not, you can follow the examples of others who have made the changes needed to find contentment. Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? You are a Child of God. Your example is Christ. It is him who we are to grow into. Now go and grow…
- 2 Pet. 3:18 – … grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity.