Who Are You, Really?
What is it that defines your identity? Some people find their identity with their careers, while others identify themselves with their education. Some identify themselves as celebrities, others by their wealth, still others by their relationships, personalities, religion, preferences etc.
Once there was a professor who wanted to go across the river, so he came up to a boatman who agreed to row him to the other side. As they made their way across the river, the professor wanted to show off his intelligence, so he decided to test the boatman. The professor picked a stone from the river bank, and asked the boatman, “Have you ever studied geology?” The boatman looked at him and said, “No, I don’t know what geology really means.”
The professor then said, “I am afraid, 25% of your life is gone.” The boatman felt bad about his illiteracy but continued to row on. As they moved further across the river, the currents began to get stronger. The professor picked a leaf up and asked sneeringly, “Boatman, have you studied botany?” Confused the boat man again replied, “No”.
The professor again shook his head and said, “50% of your life is gone.” The boatman continued to row. As they were mid-way across the river, the currents got even stronger. The water was moving faster and the boat began to move violently. Suddenly, the professor saw a mountain range, pointed at it and asked the boatman, “Have you studied geography?” Feeling very inferior and humiliated, the boatman again said, “No.” The professor snapped back and said, “I thought so. Then 75% of your life is gone.”
At this point, the river became a raging torrent. The water was moving so strongly that the boatman lost control of the boat and it smashed against the rocks, sprang a leak and began to sink. This time the boatman turned to the professor and asked, “Professor, do you know how to swim?”, to which the professor answered, “No.” To this the boatman replied, “Then I am afraid 100% of your life is gone. There are crocodiles in the river and if you remain in the boat you will either drown or be eaten up by crocs”, and the boatman swam speedily across the river to safety.
Likewise, in life, you can be 100% lost if you hold on to a wrong identity or a wrong image of yourself, something that you are not really meant to be. In life, we may identify ourselves in many ways, such as a vegetarian, humanitarian, parent, celebrity, doctor, theologian, apprentice, carpenter, chef etc. People identify themselves by what they do. What is your identity when you are not doing what you usually do? Our identity is found in our relationship with Jesus Christ. As Christians, we know that we are made in the image of God. God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27 ESV).
We pursue to create the image of Christ within us and become more Christlike. We become more like Christ by following His ways and walking in the path of righteousness, constantly doing what is pleasing to God. To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12 ESV). We have this awesome privilege of calling God our Father, just with faith, believing in Him and receiving Him as our Lord and Saviour.
Who you really are, is not based on your diet preference, nor on your appearance, your personality, your finances, your qualification nor is it based on the car you drive, the house you live, nor it is based on the friends you have or what people think of you. I found my true identity in my late teens, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour. The day I was saved, it was a new beginning, it changed everything, my life began all over again. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV).
When you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you belong to God’s family. This new image is yours for all eternity, the image of Christ, the likeness of Christ, the righteousness of Christ. There is nothing in this world that compares with the friendship of God, the privilege of talking to God and listening to His words. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 ESV).
Therefore, with boldness we can say, I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20 ESV).
In life, from time to time, you will go through an identity crisis, where you find yourself confused about who you really are? It could happen when you identify yourself entirely based on your doing, your relationships, your circumstances. When these things begin to change or cease to exist, you will go through an identity crisis. In these situations, you can open your identity card, the bible, and it will tell you who you really are.
You are God’s masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)
You can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).
You are God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).
You are an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
You are firmly rooted, built up, established in faith and overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:7).
It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).
For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
You are submitted to God, and the devil flees from you because you resist him in the Name of Jesus (James 4:7).
You are greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).
You are raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12).
You are healed by the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).
You are called of God to be the voice of His praise (Psalm 66:8; 2 Timothy 1:9).
You are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
You are complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).
You are a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
One day when your life on earth has ended and you are standing in front of God, there is only one identity that will take you through to eternity. On that day, it will not matter how many PhDs you have earned, nor how hard you have toiled in your field. It will not matter if you are a millionaire or a homeless person. All that matters, on that day, is your identity in Jesus Christ. If you identify yourself with Him, you inherit eternal life. If you don’t identify yourself with Jesus Christ, you have lost it all. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him (John 3:36 ESV).