Who You Are

I’m always asking (of myself and others) the question: Who are you? I’ve realized that it’s a very deceptive topic.

I was speaking with a friend recently who is questioning her identity to some degree (and has been for some time, I think), and in trying to find a great wisdom to share with her, to help her see that her life has purpose, I defaulted to that wonderful question: If you could do anything with your life and not have to worry about finances or anything like that, what would you do? What would make you happiest?

It’s a fair question in one regard. Having an idea of what we desire and what would give us pleasure helps to clarify the puzzle of our identity. It is only a piece, though. And unfortunately, it also has the mischievous manner of confusing who we are with what we do. They are not the same.

You are not merely a sum of all the choices you make. You are not simply what you do with your life. What you do, your life decisions (even daily decisions), reflect aspects of your character–but they are not who you are. They are not what makes you a valuable person.

Who you are is another matter. Who can answer such a question? I think the only hope of being anyone–or anything–is to find our identity in Christ, to understand that we are created in His image, to accept that tragic and beautiful mystery–that He gave His life to be reconciled to us.

A wise man once told me that love isn’t nearly as much about being “worthy of love” as it is about someone placing worth in us. That is what Christ has done. Not one of us deserves His love, yet He lavishes it freely upon us.

Find your identity in Him. And please…

…remind me to do the same.

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One thought on “Who You Are

  1. There comes a time in anyone’s life where balancing selfish and humane motives is essential. The pendulum swings occasionally, because as Christians we simply cannot always “Walk in the Spirit” all the time, which The Apostle Paul considers ideal. We avoid His condemnation in Romans 8:1 if we do so, and in Gal 5:16 -17 we learn: “… Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are contrary to one another; lest whatever you may will, these things you do.”

    This supernatural state is possible only with a comittment to Jesus, then Christ’s power will bring with it clear communication as to His will. However, I find this exotic state of being most easily and consistantly attained in close fellowship with other believers “of like precious faith.” His Body – The Church – propells this Spiritual State to reality.

    “No man is an island” wrote Thomas Merton – where he provides meditations on the spiritual life in sixteen thoughtful essays. This sequel to Seeds of Contemplation provides fresh insight into Merton’s favorite topics of silence and solitude, while also underscoring the importance of community and the deep connectedness to others that is the inevitable basis of the spiritual life–whether one lives in solitude or in the midst of a crowd.

    “…confusing who we are with what we do….” demonstrates the puzzling human condition of a self aware entity thinking outside oneself – a great gift given only to mankind. His will is for us all to seek holiness, “without which no one will see The Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

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