The pathway towards defining and finding oneself is a lifelong journey and is certainly not limited to the young. Some of us, at certain points in our lives, define ourselves through our scholastic or professional accomplishments, and through the roles we play within the family, the church or the broader community. At other times, we may define ourselves through our problems, disabilities or failures. Underlying many of our struggles is the issue of identity.
Who am I? I am a child of God. Christ died for me; He loves me so deeply and unconditionally (Galatians 2:20). Because I am a child of God, He knows me perfectly. Psalm 139:2-4 gives a beautiful description:
“You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.”
There is something profoundly comforting about God knowing and understanding me well without the need for me to explain or justify anything amid a stream of twisted thoughts and confused emotions. God knows me and still loves me.
I am complete in Christ. Complete means wholeness, finished, made full, and lacking in nothing. Paul cautioned the believers at Colossae against false teaching. Colossians 2:9-10 states:
“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” (Colossians 2:9-10, NKJV)
God’s word reassures me that this is not a level I need to strive to attain nor a status to be achieved in order to complete something or to be made complete. I am complete in Christ. Such a precious truth for us. This is the sufficiency of Christ and the believer’s position before God. There is nothing lacking in us because of Christ. However, this does not mean we are perfect. God is working in us progressively in our growth journey to become more Christ-like (2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:12).
I am a citizen of Heaven. Through Christ’s death on the cross, I am a new creation and have new life (Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Paul urged the believers at Ephesus to “put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24, NKJV)
Here we are exhorted to put off the old self and to put on the new self. The clothing metaphor used suggests that this is not merely keeping the old clothes on and changing some accessories or having some new cloth patched over old clothes. This is a radical and complete transformation in which we put to death our old way of living including old practices, attitudes, and desires, and put on “tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering” (Colossians 3:12, NKJV), empowered by the Holy Spirit.
I am a child of God. I am complete in Christ. I am a citizen of Heaven. Nestled in the security of Christ, there is no place for envy, pride or judgment. I am reminded of the song “Who Am I” (by Casting Crowns) and it is fitting to conclude with some partial lyrics here:
“Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are…
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”
By sister Rebecca Ang