Who are You?

whoareyouBut you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. –1 Peter 2:9

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Who am I?” What are the things that most define my personal identity? What are my talents, passions, and strengths? Our identity often determines our actions, how we live our lives, relate to family and friends, conduct business, and worship God.

Some people define who they are by their circumstances. I’m unemployed, I’m a divorcee, I’m diabetic, I’m disabled, or I’m from a dysfunctional family. But, circumstances can change, and these are just descriptions that can hold us back.

Some people define who they are by what they do. I’m a stock broker, I’m an avid golfer, I’m a stay at home mom, I’m a realtor. But what you do can change. Many stay at home moms wake up one day and the kids have left for college. Their identity is taken from them, and many find it tough to form a new identity.

When I ask inmates at the jail who they are, they often respond with what they did. I’m a drug addict, I’m an alcoholic, or I’m a loser. I’ll respond, “That’s what you did, that’s not who your are! You can change that and become someone new, someone positive.

Others define themselves by their roles. I’m the boss, I’m the defensive line coach, I’m a mailman. That’s not who you are, those roles can change.

So, if your identity is not determined by your circumstances, what you do or what you did, or your roles, then what really defines your identity?

All of these things are external; who you are is not only external but internal. How do you feel about your inner being? Who are you on the inside? This is an important part of our identity as well.

For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them. –Ephesians 2:10

Here is an exercise to try.

  1. Make a list of all the things that define you both externally and internally.
  2. Eliminate anything that is negative from your list.
  3. Scratch off the list those external things that might change in the future.
  4. Look at what is left and ask the question, “What remains on my list that really defines me?”

I’ve done this many times; as a matter of fact, I do it every year around the Christmas and New Year holidays. It has changed over time but it has been pretty consistent in the past several years.

And, it’s not very complicated, it’s quite simple. I’m a Disciple of Jesus, Husband, Father, Grandfather and Servant Leader. It’s not particularly exciting, game changing, or sexy, but I am very comfortable with who I am!

How about you? Give it a try. Discover who you really are. You might just like the real you a whole lot better than the one you portray.

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