Who am I? One of the most important questions a human being can ask, and in some shape, form or fashion, will answer in their life. We will answer this question with the words we use, the friends we have, the way we act as well as the beliefs we subscribe to. We all have questions about ourselves and life that are in us innately. I wrote about his in my first blog post, “Filling the More”. As we begin life, we begin a journey of discovery to determining the answer to this all important question and hopefully come to an answer and conclusion of ‘ Who I Am’.
As you get older, you discover, HOPEFULLY, there are many outside influences that are trying to train and convince you of ‘Who You Are’. Back in the day, one of the first courses you were assigned in college was psychology. The first day of this class you were introduced to Sigmund Freud and his structural model of psyche containing the id, ego and super ego, that would help you determine who you are and why you are who you are. There are many avenues today for you to explore and enable you to claim or find the real you. People, organizations and groups, who do not have a clue who you are, desperately seek to lead you in the direction of who you are and who you should be. There are preconceptions, ideas and opinions from every angle to point you, in their minds, in the right direction. So most avenues available today, to help you discover the real you, are only theories, social constructs and mechanisms to help you see who they believe you are and who they would like for you to become. In essence, preventing you from understanding Who You Are.
We try all sorts of avenues to try and discover who we are without even realizing it. As soon as we are born, our parents start shaping us into the mold they desire us to conform to. With good intentions many times. Our parents use their experiences and mistakes to help us avoid the pitfalls they fell prey too. Obviously, this can be helpful many times. For instance, when we are young, there are many dangers in society we are not aware of that our parents are acutely aware of such as playing in a busy street, drinking cleaning products and child abduction. This continues as we get older, like drugs and alcohol, laziness and unwanted pregnancies, if we would only take their advice. Parental influence can also be negative on our development as well. The area I believe this is found in most is in the level of importance they can put on education and future employment giving the impression that the acquiring of material possessions and security will make them happy. I believe this unconsciously elevates personal comfort and preparing for the future over sacrifice and charity relegating God to a place of convenience by justifying our actions. Another way is by a parent trying to live out their dreams through their children. Just because you wanted to be a star football player but blew your chance, doesn’t mean little Johnny wants, or God intends for him or her to be, a football player.
In a Psychology Today article by Mel Schwartz L.C.S.W. titled A Shift of Mind, he brings up a term called Positive Disintegration. This is a theory of personality development, TPD, viewing psychological tension and anxiety as necessary to determine your identity and was the brainchild of Kazimierz Dabrowski. He goes on the say that people who fail to go through TPD may remain their entire life in a state of ‘Primary Integration’ lacking true identity. My definition of science, and this holds true for psychology too, is ‘ man trying to explain how God did what he did ‘. In light of that view, TPD makes perfect sense. Alot of times, it is the anxiety, stresses and worries of this life and world that draws us to seek out a reason and a purpose for our life. It is also the tension we experience as we seek answers to who we are and why we are here. We realize the evil and injustices in this world do not make sense according to the morality God has placed within us. Our conscious tells us there has to be more to this life. This seeking, searching and questioning does not make sense according to the evolutionary theory for the formation of life, but leads us to consider a creator, which will lead you to the love, sacrifice and need for a savior, which will point you to Jesus. So I agree with these observations and statements. My only push back is you will not find these answers in yourself or the world around you. Your true identity can only be found in Jesus and the Truths in his Word.
We also try to determine Who We Are by the jobs we have, the college we attend, the person we date, the friends we hang out with, the hobbies we have, the groups we belong to and the list goes on and on. We can define ourselves by a political party or even the church we attend but if we don’t determine Who We Are and define ourselves by who God’s Word says we are, we are looking in the wrong place or as my dad used to say, barking up the wrong tree. So what does God say about you? Who does God say you are?
- Made in the image of God. The first and foremost thing we should know is that we are made in the image of God himself. ‘Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ‘ Genesis 1:26-27 Mankind is special, different from all other created creatures. You are the spitting image of your father and creator, God.
- You are Loved by God. The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:“I have loved you with an everlasting love;I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 None of us are perfect and all of us have sinned against God, but he still loves us, even while we are sinners, to the point that he gave his son to the pay the price for our disobedience and reconcile you to himself. It is a free gift from God to you so your relationship with the creator of the universe can be restored and you can have Peace and Eternal Life.
- You are a Child of God. ‘And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”’ 2 Corinthians 6:18 You were created by God and for God for reasons you will never understand until you Know God and to know him is one of the main reasons you were created.
- You are not Alone. There are so many uncertainties in this world. So many times we are let down and disappointed. If we ever get to the point that it seems we are on our own and no one cares, we can be certain that God cares and is always there lift us up and light the way no matter how dark it seems to be. ‘The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” ‘ Deuteronomy 31:8
We all have questions about life if we are trying to make sense out of this life. Origin – How did I and everything else get here? Morality – How can I determine what is right and what is wrong? Meaning – What is the purpose of life itself? What is my purpose in this life? Destiny – What happens when I die? You will also try to make sense of the emotions that you see evident in the world around you, Evil, Love, Justice and Forgiveness. You will try to make sense of them and justify your behaviors and worldview according to them. Your answers to these questions and emotions will determine who you believe you are and who you actually are. It will determine your worldview and how you live your life. I would like for you to consider this, the only place all of these questions and emotions converge and make any sense was at a place called Calvery where heaven met earth on a cross, and on that hill, you can begin to see, Who You Are. Jesus will meet you there.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ‘ John 3:16The Apostle John