What is the first thing that comes to mind when I ask you, “Who are you?” It’s probably a flood of thoughts. People answer the question in countless ways. The question should begin to get to the heart of who you think you are. How you see yourself. Your identity. And identity is a big deal. Who we think we are has a tremendous impact on how we live. I would say it determines how we live.
There are many pieces to the puzzle as we figure out who we are. Boy or girl? Son or daughter of….fill in the blank. Then comes Middle School and High School. Most kids are trying to figure out who they are…or trying to become who they think they are. Athlete. Musician. Nerd. Computer whiz. Comedian. Rebel. Unique. All of the above. By the time college is done, most of us have it a little more figured out…but not always.
What we do for work becomes part of our identity. How we make a living says a lot about what we like, what we think is important. Perhaps that’s why it’s such a common question when we’re getting to know someone new. Are you a mechanic? Plumber? Carpenter? Accountant? Executive assistant? Lawyer? Doctor? Nurse? Salesman (or woman)? Clerk? Stay at home mom? CEO? CFO? What we do is part of who we are. What we do comes from who we are.
I’m 31. I’m husband, a father, a youth pastor. But truth be told, I still feel like I’m figuring out who I am. One I know without a doubt though, who I think I am impacts what I do.
Colossians 3:12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved...
As a Christian, I'm tempted to rush past these words onto what God calls me to put on, but in doing so I sometimes miss the point of order. What I am supposed to do is rooted always, in who I am.
And here, God speaks into the heart of every Christian
"You are my chosen ones,
you are my holy ones,
you are my beloved ones."
Be honest…when you first read the question “who are you?” Did these words pop into your mind? “Chosen one, holy and beloved.” Me neither. But read through the Scriptures, and see how much of what is written is God telling you and I who we are. Just think about the three words above. Let them ruminate a little bit.
Seriously. Spend two minutes...unless you have something more important to do...
If you aren’t overwhelmed, you haven’t thought long enough or deep enough. It is amazing. It communicates more than an internet post could possibly communicate. This is how God sees us. This is how God sees me. But if I do not see who I am, if I don’t believe I am who God says I am, I won't live accordingly.
Have you ever seen one of those shows where they hypnotize people? I don’t know if I believe it or not, but whatever, let’s run with it for a moment. They always take someone from the crowd…a mom…a guy who is a CEO…and they make them believe they are a chicken. On cue the person walks around like a chicken…they peck the ground…they cluck or crow and flap their wings. It’s beneath the dignity of humanity, and that’s why it’s kinda funny...but it’s only funny because it’s momentary. If it was permanent it would be sad.
Like a hypnotized man who “believes” he is a chicken, who pecks the ground and flaps his "wings," is living beneath the dignity of who he really is, so I as a Christian live beneath the dignity God has given me when I forget who I am. Or maybe I don’t really see myself that way because I don’t believe God. I don’t see myself in that light, so God must be wrong about me. He might want me to be that, but He can’t really mean that’s how He sees me. We let our own thoughts define our identity. We spend too much time letting the world tell us who we are. Telling us who we should be. Influencing what we think we want to be. What do they know anyways? And why on earth should we care? The world doesn’t know us. And it most definitely doesn’t care about us. It will forget you as soon as you’re gone.
But God knows. He cares. It may sound trite, but if you think about it even for a moment, you’ll know it isn’t trite at all. Don’t pass over something because you’ve heard it so many times that you’ve stopped letting it matter. God knows. He cares. Each particular human is His unique creation, formed and fashioned, and given breath by Him. Of course He values what He has made. Of course He knows and cares.
And for each individual trusting in Christ for salvation, He says “This is who I say you are. This is what I think, my child, when you ask me “whom am I?”
You are my chosen one. My holy one. My Beloved one.
Let that sink in. Read it again. And again. Bask in the words. Wrap your heart and mind in it. And believe it, not because you feel like its true but because you believe the One who says it's true, because He is true.
May we all come to believe and know the identity God has given us, and may it change the way we live, not because we're trying to earn our status as chosen ones, or holy ones or beloved ones. Because we are chosen, holy, and beloved.