Such a simple question elicits so many kinds of answers. In an attempt to answer that question for myself, I must consult a variety of sources, such as:
- Birth certificate
- Social security card
- Driver’s license
- Medical records
- Educational records/background
- Places of employment
- Affiliations and professional associations
Of course, those things only provide a small snapshot into who I am. For a broader picture, one must consider my relationships with people who can testify to who I am across time and situations. In work life, these people are commonly thought of as references. Funny thing though. It has been said that a resume is merely a exaggerated look at one’s good points — and a wish list of what he’d one day like to be.
I certainly strive to make sure my resume gives an accurate representation of not only my accomplishments but my character as well. Sadly, that is not true for all people. For me, the far better question is not Who are you? but rather. . .
Whose are you?
I’ve been pondering this question a lot the last couple days, especially since I have a friend who sent a simple text message on Monday asking in desperation, “Dude, who am I?” Amid many stressors of life, my friend has simply felt like he’s lost himself. And while he professes Christ as His Savior, the reality is that he’s simply not feelin’ it right now.
I was particularly intrigued by one of my friend’s statements, as he sought to make sense of things:
I look around and see how much other people have done, all they’ve accomplished. . .and I think to myself, ‘What do you have to show for your life?’ And I just don’t seem to have anything. No real successes. No hobbies. Nothing.”
Clearly my friend is struggling with depression. And yes, he acknowledged to me that he has even considered suicide in these past few weeks. Faced with the vast gulf between where he is and where he wants to be, his life has taken on a sense of urgent desperation.
In searching for the right answer, I kept feeling the need to make sure that the right question was being asked. As a Christian, I know that when this life is through, the only question that matters is. . .
Whose are you?
Everyone struggles with life from time to time. We all feel discouraged, beaten down, and confused as we walk through this journey of life. So many times I seem to do all the talking in my blog. Today I want you to listen to what God has to say through His Word. If you’re having a difficult day, be encouraged through these verses:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.” (Psalm 25:16-18)
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my father I have made known to you. You did not chose me, but I chose you. . . .” (John 15:15-16a)
There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry ‘Abba Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:15-17)
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us. . . .” (Ephesians 1:7-8a)
For through him we have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2: 18-19)
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1a)
No amount of awards, achievements, or accolades will ever fill that God-shaped hole in your heart. Only Christ alone can fit there. If you are still judging yourself by your ability to do great things, give it up! You cannot do enough good. Don’t be consumed with who you are in terms of position, status, or rank — or in terms of material possessions. Focus squarely on the one question that has eternal implications:
Whose are you?
I’m reminded of the words of an old hymn that puts it well:
Now I belong to Jesus, Jesus belongs to me, not for the years of time alone but for eternity.”
If your heart and life belong to Christ, rejoice today because you have the victory! If you have never given your heart to Him, I encourage you to discover new life today.