“Who Am I, Lord?” – Our Struggle with Identity

Have you ever asked yourself the question: “Who Am I? How can God see His child when all I see is a flawed, damaged self?”

Well, I think the real, personal questions you should be asking yourself are: “Whose, am I? Who do I look like? If you answered these questions and you still feel unsure of who you are in Christ; then let me tell you. Throughout the Bible, God has referred to us, His people as Conquerors, Adopted, Children of God, Sons & Daughters, and much more. But, God tells us that we are new creations if anyone is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 gives us the verse and shows us how we aren’t damaged and broken.

2 Corinthians 5:17

17. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

If God said that anyone who is in Christ becomes a new creation, a new person; then why do we still have this problem with identity and who we are? Because of society and our subconscious desire to fit in and be accepted by others. I, myself have asked the questions of “Who Am I, Lord?” and “How can God see His child when I am undeserving of His love?” and it’s only now, that I am starting to understand that God has already told me who I am.

Although we may have trouble understanding who we are, God said differently in Romans 12:1-2 where He tells us to not conform to the world and renew our minds so that we may present ourselves a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God.

Romans 12:1-2

1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present you bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  2. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

I think it’s because of our own need for identity and society’s flawed understanding of what identity means to people that we; as Christians and people sometimes ask ourselves “Who Am I?”.  I recently read an article by author and speaker Dr. Juli Slattery entitled, “Who Am I, Lord?” where she talks about her own experiences with identity. In the post, she wrote, “Only within the last few years have I admitted that I doubted the unconditional and intimate nature of God’s love for me” and I think that this is a statement that we as people and Christians oftentimes admit to ourselves or deny to ourselves.

When we, as people and Christians begin to doubt God’s love for us, we start to wonder if we are; Conquerors and Sons and Daughters of Jesus Christ. But I am here to tell you that no matter what you think about yourself, God still sees you as His child.

Dr. Juli Slattery has several quotes in her post that I think we; as people and Christians should use when we feel that our identity as children of God is shaken.

  • “When you draw near to God and listen, He doesn’t speak generically—but specifically.”
  • “God longs to tell you personally that He loves you. Even more, He wants to speak specifically and intimately about who you are.”
    • “… He is speaking to you by His Spirit through the Word. The question is: Are you listening?”

Dr. Juli Slattery isn’t the only one who has questioned who they are in Christ; speaker and writer Shannon Popkin wrote a blog post entitled, “Finding Freedom in the Mirror” where she first talks about her own experiences with identity and her struggles before giving ways to encourage women to let go of what is staring at you in the mirror and trust God.

In the blog post, Shannon Popkin said, “Being controlled by what others think and being out of control, with no restraint, are two types of the same thing: bondage. It’s bondage to be a slave to the mirror. And it’s bondage to live with no limits. Both types of bondage require God’s strong hand if freedom is ever to be had.”

Later in the blog post, Shannon Popkin said, “God wants for all of His daughters to live in freedom! But this freedom only comes through giving Him control, not trying to take it on our own” and in my opinion; I think that because of society’s belief that women are meant to act, dress, or be a certain way that even Christian women sometimes get caught trying to fit in with society. But God said something else in James 1:17, “17. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

If you, as women and daughters of God start to realize that you are new creation is Christ; then you don’t have to worry about what the mirror or the world says about you.

Shannon Popkin also said, “God says, “Why not step away from that mirror, and let Me determine your value and worth?”

I recently listened to a song by Casting Crowns entitled, “Who Am I” where in my opinion; it speaks not just from a place of wondering but also from a place of searching for an answer. In the song, the chorus of the song tells us exactly who we are and were called to be in Christ.

Chorus

“I am a flower quickly fading

Here today and gone tomorrow

A wave tossed in the ocean

A vapor in the wind

Still You hear me when I’m calling

Lord, you catch me when I’m falling

And You’ve told me who I am

I AM YOURS”

The lyrics to the song aren’t just words, they help to convey a message of identity and knowing who we are as adopted sons and daughters of God. Web Consultant Mike Mobley wrote a blog post called, “Scripture on Identity” where he talks about who we are in Christ and who God says we are. In the blog post, he said, “Identity is defined as who we are and how we are called by name and is critical for the day to day life of a follower of Jesus”.

I think that the quote above should be a reminder for all people; whether Christian or a non-believer that we don’t have to go and seek our identity in the world because God already tells us who we are. There are several key quotes in Mike Mobley’s blog post that should give us a reminder of how our identity is in Jesus Christ.

  • “From the moment we decide to trust and follow Christ, we become a child of God. We become a disciple of Jesus. We become a Christian. That becomes our new identity.”
  • “The problem begins when we take our eyes off of Jesus and put them back on ourselves. We get in trouble when we forget our new identity and start to go back to our old one.”
    • “… remind yourself of your new identity, and walk confidently as a follower of Jesus today.”

Mike Mobley said, “Christians need the daily reminder that their identity is found in Jesus. Nowhere else.”

I recently listened to a song by Christian artist Matthew West entitled, “Matthew West – Mended (Lyric Video)” where the song talks about how we sometimes see ourselves in the mirror and see our imperfections, our fears, and doubts but in this song; it is telling us to remember that even though we see ourselves as a flawed, imperfect people; God sees someone else entirely. The bridge of the song, in my opinion, lets us know that God sees His child even if we see something different.

Bridge

“I see My Child

My beloved, the new creation your becoming

You see the scars from when you fell,

But I see the stories they will tell

For you see worthless, but I see priceless

You see pain, but I see a purpose

You see unworthy, undeserving

But I see you through eyes of mercy”

Shannon Popkin has some quotes that I think women and daughters of God should tell themselves every day as a reminder that they already have an identity when they have become followers of Jesus.

  • “Mirrors are sharply critical. They offer no rest. No hope. Only more assignments. Mirrors tell you to rely on yourself. But God wants you to rely on Him! He says that His power is made perfect, not in your own perfectionism, but in your weakness and dependence on Him”
  • “Will you find your worth in His eyes instead of what is reflected on the bathroom wall?”
  • “… freedom in the mirror is found by putting God—not ourselves—in control.”

In the end, though we; as people and Christians all want to recognized and acknowledged by the society that we lose ourselves in the pre-conceived identity that society wants. However, we have to remember that we already have an identity as children of God. We all have an identity as followers of Christ; we just have to remember that when life seems to take over our Christ identity and replace it with a “Worldly” identity.

So, what do you think? Will you allow yourself to be burdened by your desire for an identity in a fallen world? Will you continue to look at yourself in the mirror and see a flawed, imperfect self? Or, will you turn to God the Father and ask Him, “Who Am I, Lord?”. You just have to remember that you are God’s child. Please comment below and join the discussion.

God’s Blessings,

Joshua Reid

 

References

“Matthew West – Mended (Lyrics Video)” YouTube, uploaded by MatthewWestVEVO, 1 year ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Otg-5p7qug . Accessed 21 August 2017.

Mobley, Mike. “Scripture on Identity” beforethecross.com, https://www.beforethecross.com/scripture/identity/ . Accessed 23 August 2017.

Popkin, Shannon. “Finding Freedom in the Mirror” https://www.reviveourhearts.com/ , 4 May 2013, https://www.reviveourhearts.com/true-woman/blog/finding-freedom-mirror/ . Accessed 23 August 2017.

Slattery, Juli. “Who Am I, Lord?” https://www.reviveourhearts.com,  26 Jun. 2013. https://www.reviveourhearts.com/true-woman/blog/who-am-i-lord/ . Accessed 23 August 2017.

“Who Am I – Casting Crowns – with Lyrics” YouTube, uploaded by TheCatLadyJ, 2 years ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9hetEFcjGM . Accessed 21 August 2017.

 

Picture References

Author Unknown. “Looking in the Mirror” http://www.centercrosscultural.org/2011/05/09/sebastian-guerrini-the-brands-of-life/ . Accessed 23 August 2017.

Author Unknown. “You Are a New Creation – 2 Corinthians 5:17”, http://www.crosscards.com/cards/facebook-ecards/cm-new-creation-2-corinthians-5-17-social.html . Accessed 22 August 2017.

Author Unknown. “You should look at My Masterpiece in the Mirror – God”, http://quoteaddicts.com/i/3282405 . Accessed 24 August 2017.

Lepine, Bob. “You’re NOT who you once were”, https://www.reviveourhearts.com/true-woman/blog/youre-not-who-you-once-were/ . Accessed 22 August 2017.

Meyer, Joyce. “GOD created you” http://resizeimage.club/openphoto.php?img=http://geniusquotes.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Mirror-look-quote-HD-wallpaper.jpg . Accessed 24 August 2017.

 

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9 thoughts on ““Who Am I, Lord?” – Our Struggle with Identity

  1. This is such an encouraging post and a great reminder. Sometimes due to situations around us, we lose our identity, we lose the identity we have as God’s own. Losing your identity is very easy in the world today due so many standards one is expected to conform to.

    To keep our identity of who we are, we need to always be in God’s word and encourage ourselves with His word so we don’t get swallowed in this overwhelming world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was beauitful and uplifting. Sometimes we loose sight of who we are. I think alot of people (including myself) sometimes question the laws of Christianity and religion and we get fed up so sometimes we reach to the outside world to accept us. Not everbody will accept becuase there are alot of pretenders in the world. So when we reach a downfall and nobody is there to help us, we are at our breaking point. Sometimes breaking point is so bad, we may want to commit suicide. But all it takes is to worship the lord and accept Jesus Christ and you will forever prosper in the ways of the lord.
    The problem with alot of churches and Christian families is they will pressure you to worship God.
    Nobody should pressure anybody. Allow people to have the freedom to worship the lord. Sometimes Christians are responsible for other Christians losing their identity. Accepting ways of the lord and worshiping should feel peaceful, not like a chore.
    This was a beautiful post

    Like

    • Thank you for the comment Understand546 and I pray that you continue to gain encouragement from the upcoming blog posts.

      I like what you said,”I think a lot of people (including myself) sometimes question the laws of Christianity and religion and we get fed up so sometimes we reach to the outside world to accept us…” and I agree with you. I think that even as Christians, we want to be accepted by others and want them to be friends but we also know that we could be rejected because of our belief in Christ.

      However, if we know who we are in Christ and accept our identities in Christ we won’t have to commit suicide or have an identity crisis.

      Liked by 1 person

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