Who are you, really? It’s an important question. Your self-image is a lump of clay molded by many factors.
When you’re a child, your parents shape how you view yourself. In school, other students brand you popular or unpopular, cool or uncool, a nerd or a jock. In the workplace, it’s tempting to measure your worth by the slot you occupy on an organizational chart, whether you wear a blue collar or a white collar, and whether you’re the leader who makes the plans or the follower who executes them.
Politicians analyze your voting preferences and try to define you by placing a D or an R next to your name. News commentators toss around labels like independent, liberal, conservative, and progressive. The fog grows thicker with the increase of identity politics, categorizing people according to age, generation, gender, social class, and sexual preferences. Marketers see you as a consumer. Government bureaucrats consider you a source of tax revenue. Advertisers use computer analytics to understand and exploit your spending habits.
Atheism reduces your existence to insignificance, stripping away any ultimate purpose from your life. If you’re little more than the product of mindless evolution—if you’re here merely because of the impersonal plus time plus chance—you’re kidding yourself to believe your life has any special significance at all. Without God, what is the ultimate reference point for human dignity, human worth, and human rights? The question, “Who do you think you are?” leads to depressing conclusions if there is no God.
God’s View of You
Fortunately, the Bible tells us who we really are.
Read Genesis. You are made in the image of God. Read the Psalms. God wove you together in your mother’s womb. Even more, read the Gospels and see how Jesus defines your worth. The heavenly Father counts the number of hairs on your head. You’re a one-of-a-kind individual gifted with unique fingerprints, personality traits, opportunities, and relationships with others. Yes, like the rest of us, you’re a prodigal child who has sinned and strayed away, but the Father hasn’t given up on you. To restore you to his family, the eternal God entered time and space in the person of his Son. He endured the same temptations, hurts, labels, and sorrows you and I face, but after suffering the ultimate indignity on the cross, he emerged victorious. Christ values you enough to die for you.
Read Peter’s first epistle and you’ll discover your true identity. God wants you on his team. Christian, you are a living stone in God’s holy temple. You’re a light-bearer, not a darkness dweller. You’re a member of the King’s royal family, a citizen of a special-purpose nation, a minister with a high calling, a priest privileged to serve God and his people. The creator of the universe treasures you. “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God” (1 Peter 2:10).
Who are you, really? Don’t let your pushy peers, your harshest critics, your flattering admirers, or the loudest cultural voices answer that question for you. Don’t listen to the darker contemplations and judgments of your own heart. Let God’s Word define your identity. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).
David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Lesson study ©2018, Christian Standard Media. Lesson based on The Lookout’s Scope and Sequence ©2018. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version, ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.