So… I sat staring at a blank document, watching the cursor blink for a while. The task was simple: provide a bio for an upcoming speaking engagement. Or at least it seemed it should have been simple. But the thing is: I have almost achieved professional status at making things more complex than they need to be… and this was one of my shining moments. The request had come through like this, “It does not have to be a long one-maybe a couple hundred words or so.” Yet, I was kind of stuck between feeling like there weren’t a couple hundred words to say about me and wondering how to properly communicate who I am in so few words.
“Who am I?”
That is one of those key life questions. The questions of “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” and “Where am I going?” are foundational to our lives. They give us identity, purpose and direction.
How would you answer the question: Who am I?
Reading someone’s bio or playing getting-to-know you games often leads people to answering that question from a few perspectives. 1-Based on profession: I am a teacher. A nurse. A receptionist. A child caregiver. 2- With personality traits: I’m shy. Emotional. Talkative. A giver. 3- Using relationships: I’m a wife, mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. 4- Sharing hobbies/interests: I play sports. I’m an avid reader. I enjoy video games. I’m a movie junkie.
The question, “Who am I?” is deceptively simple. It isn’t always easy to answer and yet it is critical. The trouble with our answers is that all too often they let us down, we can’t live up, sometimes they no longer fit. Relationships go through hard times; our personality shifts or seems to fall short of where we’d like to be; sometimes companies close, we get fired or aren’t successful at our jobs. And when our “Who am I?” is based on those alone we can be left feeling adrift, without an anchor.
Holidays like Valentine’s day bring many of us face-to-face with our need for identity. Sharing of greeting card sentiments meant to fill our hearts can actually leave us empty. There are times when we are seeking an answer that is something more, something deeper, something that speaks to our core.
1 John 3:1 says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
What if we lived knowing we were God’s BELOVED children? What if our identity was centered in Him and His great love for us, His children?
You are a beloved child of the King, lavished with His grace, filled with His mercy, loved beyond imagining.
This is more than a flowery phrase on a greeting card or a trite answer for a getting-to-know-you game. This is the core, the answer to the deep “Who am I?” question.
Ephesians 2 makes it clear that this isn’t an identity that we earn. It did come because we were good enough or tried hard enough. This who I am doesn’t only fit on our good days but is big enough to answer our bad days. God knows all about us and through Christ gave us the greatest gift of love I can imagine: the identity as children of God.
How to know who you are is to know whose you are… To find your deepest identity as a child of God, well… it changes you, defines, and guides you. It isn’t that the other things don’t matter. Because they do. Our personality, interests, relationships and careers are important… but they don’t define us. While they change or fail, God never changes and his love never fails.
How have you been losing sight on your core identity as God’s beloved child? How does focusing on God center you in the good times and the tough times too? How does anchoring yourself in God empower you to better live out your talents, career, relationships and interests?
Maybe this song by Matthew West will be of encouragement to you this week!