Who are You?
“But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” – Galatians 4:4-7
If I asked you to tell me about yourself, what words would you use to describe yourself? “I’m a husband, father, dentist … avid golfer,” or maybe, “Stay-at-home mom, consultant, entrepreneur.”
How you define yourself is perhaps the most significant factor in your identity – since it represents the relationships, beliefs, values and thoughts that you hold to be true about yourself.
In fact, David Brenner writes in his book The Gift of Being Yourself, that our identity is “who we experience ourselves to be — the I each of us carries within.”
While each of us might label ourselves differently, there are still a few categories that often define our identity and give us meaning and significance.
Some label themselves by their careers. “What do you do?” is the first question you’ll be asked when you meet someone, go to a networking event, join a club, visit a church for the first time, or start a new role at a company.
Still others define it by their family ties. You’re a husband, brother, father, mother, son or daughter.
How you answer the question – “who are you?” – is incredibly important. Your answer reinforces your identity, and ultimately the titles, roles and values that provide your significance.
Where you find your significance will affect who and what you serve. For example, those who define themselves by their careers will make sacrifices in other areas of their life to advance professionally. In the worst case, they become servants to status, titles or even money.
The same is true for people who only find meaning in family or friendships; they make familial sacrifices to protect their families.
There’s nothing wrong with caring about your career, family or friendships. But if you’re a follower of Jesus, maybe you should think deeply about where you find significance.
The Bible says first and foremost, that you have an identity as a child of God. He loves you so much that He created you in His image.
Genesis 1.27: So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Out of His love for you, He has made a way through His son Jesus so that you can be called one of His children. John 1.10-13: He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. Do you find your identity as a child of God, or in something else? Where you place your identity will be the single most important factor in determining your sense of significance. The incredible thing about significance, is that it allows you to live out the purpose for your life. If you find significance in work, your purpose becomes your career. If it’s family, it’s parenting. If it’s school, it’s studying.
But if you know that your significance comes from being a child of God, then you start to find your purpose in serving God.
You are released to give back to the church, and you are equipped to fulfill every good purpose God has in store for you by living out your life as a follower of Jesus and serving others.
Serving others flows out of a love for the inheritance we’ve been given as one of God’s children. We serve others in many ways because God has given us an abundance of gifts. It is out of God’s love for me that I find my significance. Out of that significance I desire to give back my gifts and reveal that love to others through serving.
So, maybe it’s time to take stalk to the question “who are you?”.
I am, first, a “Child of God”. Then, I am a … Husband. Father. Pastor. Brother. Coffee Enthusiast. …
Join me today in saying this prayer, and asking God to help us find our significance in Him:
My good and gracious Father, forgive me for finding any identity in the things of this world, and for defining myself by earthly standards and skills. Give my your Holy Spirit so that I can see clearly who my Father is, and who I am in Him. I want to feel your mercy, grace and freedom to be and do what you’ve called me to. No job, status, fame, fortune, family, position or other relationship can grant me a seat at your table — Jesus, you alone do that. In You I am secure. In You I find purpose. Father God, thank you that I am precious, pursued, honored, dearly loved, wanted and cherished by You. In You, I am patient, merciful, kind, compassionate, loving, gracious and wise. I am a bold and faithful servant. Because I believe You are who You say You are, I believe I am who You say I am.