Finding out who I am!

Labels are a part of our world.  They are, in their simplest form, a simple categorization…a tool to simplify the tremendous complexities of life.  They are, in their more sinister form a lens that distorts perspective.  Studies have confirmed that a ‘labeled’ individual is perceived more according to the label that the presenting facts.

Beyond the impact labels have on our perception of others, labels accepted as truth determine our own actions, restrict options and darken hope.  Labels are a poor substitute for seeking deep understanding.

Each person is a complex creation of God Himself.  Understanding identity is critical to the Christian life.  It is critical to life in general.  We cannot know ourselves until we find out who God designed us to be!

Following is a project to help disciples delve into the beauty of a life filled with Jesus! Begin with considering the ’empty wagon’ parable.  Pursing understanding of identity empty wagonoffers penetrating truth for ourselves and others.  Everyone searches to know who they are…and who others are. The quest for identity leads us onto some rough paths.  Praise be to God, there is no quietness until we find ourselves in Him.  We try activities and self-improvement project, but find that a vacuum remains between who we are and who we desire to be.  We keep trying until we realize that Jesus is the fullness we are looking for.

This truth becomes even more profound when we apply it to others.  This is a noisy world.  Everyone has an opinion and proclaims it with gusto.  Those who are the loudest are typically the ones seeking to find answers the hardest.  Choosing to be the ones who view such ‘loud wagons’ with grace and mercy may be the path that the Holy Spirits needs to give them what they are seeking!

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.  Colossians 2:9,10

The truth remains that we are empty until we live in Christ and are filled by Christ!  Everything else is just a label that sticks to the outside…but our hearts remain empty.  We do all sorts of things to feel full…but every action outside of Jesus just leaves us more empty.  The Word of God helps us understand how Jesus fills us.  When we begin to grasp all we really are and have, our world expands immensely!

Let’s look at how to FILL UP!  The list below offers verses that give us a glimpse of who joyful imagewe are when we live in Christ—and welcome Him to live in us.  It is not an exhaustive list!  There are many more verses that could be used.

Begin by drawing a simple body silhouette for yourself.   Then, look at the list below and begin to fill your silhouette with truths from God.  He is the only one able to ‘label’ us!  Please know this is not an exhaustive list of what God says about those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior.  It will help you begin to see yourself as God sees you!

2 Corinthians 5:17 – New creation; new

Ephesians 2:10 God’s work

1 Peter 2:9 chosen, royal, holy, God’s possession

Romans 8:1 NOT condemned, approved

John 1:12 child of God

2 Corinthians 5:21 righteousness of God

John 15:5 productive, fruitful, branch

1 Corinthians 6:19 temple

Ephesians 2:6 seated in heaven

John 15:15 friend of Jesus

Galatians 2:20 crucified, CHRIST in me!

2 Timothy 1:7 power, love, self-control

Romans 8:17 heirs of God, sibling of Jesus

Philippians 4:13 able, competent

1 John 4:4 overcomer, winner, victor

Philippians 3:20 citizen of heaven

Romans 12:2 transformed, renewed

1 Corinthians 12:27 part of the body of Christ

1 Corinthians 6:17 joined to Spirit of Jesus

1 John 5:18 protected

Romans 5:1 peace with God, connected to God, justified, cleared, not guilty

Philippians 4:19 equipped, fully supplied, NOT needy

Colossians 3:12 chosen, holy, beloved

Ephesians 1:3 blessed

John 15:16 appointed, fruitful

Ephesians 1:7 redeemed, forgiven

Psalm 139:14 wonderful, God-made, God-designed

Romans 8:37 conqueror

Matthew 5:14 light

Ephesians 1:4 holy, blameless

1 Corinthians 2:16 mind of Christ

Romans 8:28 called

2 Corinthians 5:20 ambassador, messenger

Matthew 5:13 salt, flavor, preservative

Romans 6:23 – Ephesians 2:5  alive!

1 Peter 1:23 eternal, lasting

Colossians 1:14 redeemed, saved, bought, forgiven

1 Thessalonians 1:4 loved, chosen

1 Peter 2:11 sojourner, exile, pilgrim, traveler

James 1:22 do-er, servant

1 John 1:9 cleansed, holy

1 Peter 2:5 living stone, spiritual home, holy priesthood

Acts 1:8 power-filled, powerful, witness

Romans 6:18 slave of righteousness

1 Corinthians 3:9 co-worker of God, field of God, work in progress,  masterpiece

Galatians 3:28 united, connected, part of the whole body

Colossians 1:22 holy, blameless, above reproach

2 Corinthians 2:15 sweet aroma, fragrance

When your silhouette is complete, post up a picture!  If you want to create a ‘cloak’ for your silhouette of labels you ‘wear’ – fun, silly, smart, mom, daughter, son, writer, secretary…have fun.  Decorate your silhouette in any way you wish.  We wear different ‘hats’ in life but we must remember they are changeable.  Our core identity does not change.  Any label that does not fit what God says about us must go!  Live in who God says you are!

Who am I

I have one eye that is used a lot but I cannot see.  What am I?

You see me where I never was…and really can never be.  What am I?

If you say my name, I disappear.  What am I?

If I drink I die, if I eat I’m fine.  What am I?

Riddles are kind of fun, aren’t they?  If you want the answers, join the Six-Days to Abundance journey and let me know about it.  I’ll send the answers on! 

But did you ever consider that each of us is a bit of riddle?  We spend much of our lives trying to answer that question, who am I?  It is a critical question because it is the foundation of our lives.

Whether we know it or not, we make our decisions based on what we believe gives us worth.  We choose our actions, our friends, even life-time pursuits based on what we feel gives us ‘value.’  In fact, who we understand ourselves to be is a life & death matter.  The heartbreaking reality is that over 44,000 people commit suicide every year…and that’s the reported suicides.  Life is difficult.  Without understanding the value of this life we have, we end up assigning value to parts of life.  Those parts will not hold up to the rigors of life.  Identity rooted in the Giver of Life grows stronger as the years progress.  It is the only foundation for life.  So, how do you define yourself…do you even know?

Write an advertisement for yourself.

What would someone need to know to know you?.

What do you come up with?

Wife.  Athlete.  Or maybe disabled.  Mom.  Divorced.  German or Italian.  Teacher.  Pet owner.  Couch potato.  High School drop-out or PhD candidate.  So & So’s child…or parent.  A Christian, a Muslim.  Jewish.  Homosexual.  Prisoner.  Addict.  Pastor. Winner.  Loser.

 All of those are important but anyone of those things can change (even ethnic heritages are sometimes not what we thought).  When things change, you will still be you.  So ‘who are you?’

We are each a riddle…until we go to the One who created us.

You (God) made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Psalm 139:13

God is the Giver of Life.  As Paul said to the Romans, in Him we live and move and exist.  The only way to know who we are is to go to Him.  God has given us life to search out the answer to the question of identity.  He calls to us throughout life and sent Jesus to open the way for us.  The choice to go to Him is ours.  What often drives us to Him are the disappointments that comes with a faulty understanding of self.

  • If I am what I achieve, what happens when I fail?  My identity…my sense of self bottoms out.
  • Or what if I achieve great things…think of the celebrities who have ended their own lives or whose lives are stolen by addictions….and still can’t find fulfillment?  The praise of others is not life-giving.
  • If I build my life on my children…or a spouse…and their quest takes them from me, what is my foundation?
  • Or if my identity has been in my job and my company closes, how do I face the rejection that comes with job-hunting?
  • What if I made one bad choice that haunts me for decades?  Is that the sum of who I am?

No!  The stuff of life is where we live out who we are…it is not supposed to make us who we are!

We find out identity by going to the maker.  We recognize that in other realms of life.  Take a look at this picture.  What is it for?  You can click the picture to find out but thepoint is we go to the creator (or one who has experience) to find out purpose.  

With the precious gift of life, why would we not do the same!?  We want to be the masters of our fate, but the ways that seem right to us often create havoc.  Jesus came that we might have abundant life!  Listen to who the Master says you are…and then live with awe for His love and the masterpiece He has wrought in you.  Give yourself to the world and to revealing Him.  You will be blessed and so will the world!

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There are countless resources aimed to help Christians embrace the identity that comes with faith in Jesus.  This is one.

Living out this identity is a life-time challenge that requires us to stay connected to God and others.  It gives us a foundation for living.

All that we search for is found in Jesus. Let Him Love You!