Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who do you think you are? When you get up in the morning, as life becomes less blurry and you begin to remember where you are and who you are – who comes to mind?

Spiritually speaking, some people define their identity by what they are not. They motivate themselves each day (perhaps subtly) by the assurance that they are not the spiritual “bad guys.” Compared to others, therefore, they are doing well; God must be proud of them. Here are some best selling identities in this category:

I am not a traditionalist
I am not a fundamentalist
I am not a Roman Catholic
I am not a charismatic
I am not a weirdo

Finding our identity in what we are not can allow us to avoid the tough, personal questions that Jesus would prefer we ask ourselves. Now don’t get me wrong – I completely understand that Christians are commanded to be opposed to certain ideologies and practices. However, a mature Christian will never be content to spend every waking moment in this mindset.

I propose the following test. When you get out of bed, and you are about to face the day, ask yourself this triad of questions:

Does God loves me?
Did Jesus die for my sins?
Does the Holy Spirit live within me?

Make this your “get out of bed” test. Quiz yourself each day. If you can answer these questions affirmatively, and with a growing confidence, you will have good reason to wake up each day.

Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace... (Hebrews 13:9)


njcopperhead said...

Your questions are spot on as to the unchanging foundation of who we are as Christians. If we define ourselves (what we boast of) through our vocation, nationality, physical body, marital or social status or any other worldly distinction, our houses are built on sand. That said, I think there is a tendency in Christians to devalue or denigrate the created order. We am not called from being "who we are" to being a Christian, but to being a Christian "who we are". The Presbyterians have historically taught that we serve Christ, not only when we serve in the Church, but when we live for him wherever God has placed us (sex, age, abilities, vocation, family, personal interests, etc.). God has called me to be an American and a banker but a CHRISTIAN American and banker.

Anonymous said...


Ken Shomo said...


You'll get no disagreement from me on that, and thanks for pointing it out. I once heard a pastor comment on the significance of Acts 10:32, in which God says to Cornelius, "Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea."

God himself describes this Simon fellow according to his vocation - he is "Simon, a tanner." God himself recognizes, and cares about, our vocation!

njcopperhead said...

I like that verse. Thanks