Who Are You, Exactly? The Art of Knowing Yourself
You may not remember the musical group, The Turtles, but you probably remember one of their more famous songs. Do these words ring a bell?
Me and you and you and me No matter how they toss the dice It had to be The only one for me is you And you for me So happy together
We live in a world in which there is plenty of emphasis on me… that is, on self. We talk plenty about self-image, self-respect, and self-worth.
What is baffling, however, is how little we can understand about ourselves without understanding our Creator and His intentions for us, and yet how little we involve Him in defining us.
We often define ourselves according to our jobs, our relationships, our achievements, or our possessions. Even when it comes to our souls, most of us tend to think we’re “doing okay” and that we’re all “basically good people.”
But the vital question is this: How does GOD define you?
If I’m writing the story, or painting the canvas, I get to determine the shape and look and even the personality of my subject. So it is with the Author of the human race.
The God who created us and who loves us so much that He gave His only Son for us has the first right to define us.
And how does God define us? How does God define you? What we believe about God’s Word determines what we believe about God, ourselves, and others. What we believe about God, ourselves, and others, determines how we live our lives. And how
we live our lives may determine what others believe about God, themselves, and others.
God defines you as His special creation.
One of my favorite moments in the book of Genesis is the creation of Adam. In Genesis 2:7, the Bible says that “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” Weird, eh? Breathed into his nostrils? It may sound funny, but think of the raw intimacy of that moment.
God, the Creator of heaven and earth, awakens man to life and Adam’s very first perception, the very first thing he experiences, is face-to-face intimacy with God.
God had made all the dirt, rocks, trees, and skies along with all the fish, fowl, and beasts of the field. But when it came to the creation of man, we get in-depth coverage of this intimate act of the breathing of life into the lungs of Adam.
This was a special moment.
And all men and women since have been created in the image of God. Conception itself is this awesome miracle in which God infuses this mysterious thing called life into the cells that multiply into a human.
From the womb, we are special in the sense that a Master Craftsman has artfully, skillfully designed us according to His wisdom and pleasure.
You are as God designed you to be.
God is honest about our flaws.
“All have sinned,” declares Romans 3:23. The Bible can be a very motivational book, but the motivation follows transformation.
God is clear about His care in creating each of us in infinite worth and value, and He is brutally honest in His Word about our rebellion against Him – every last one of us. This rebellion is the source of all that can be ugly about humanity.
We like to address the question of evil by asking “Why would God allow it?” But our real question should be, “Why would God allow us to create such a difficult environment for ourselves?”
In fact, our survival for another millisecond is merely by the grace of the Almighty and sovereign God.
Yes, God made you uniquely. Yes, you are of infinite worth and value to Him – a fact proven by the sacrifice of His very own Son. But that sacrifice, which speaks volumes about God’s love for us, would be no more than a cruel plot line were it not for the necessity that a Savior be provided for the objects of God’s rich love.
There is no escaping our sinfulness, our depravity, and our need for Jesus as a Savior – the only pathway to restored intimacy with the Father.
So God defines you as special, set apart from all the rest of creation. And He defines you as infinitely valuable to Him. But He is also honest about your sin. And He has gone to great lengths to deliver the message of His sacrifice to you. The fact that you are reading this is just one tiny sign that God wants to grab your attention on these matters.
God knows your flaws and He’s given you a Savior so that you can come to Him, acknowledge your sin, accept Jesus Christ as the one and only worthy sacrifice on your behalf, and receive Him as your Savior.
And once you’ve made that leap – once you’ve entered into a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, He completely re-defines you all over again.
God defines you according to your relationship to His Son
Listen to this…
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Notice this… IN CHRIST = NEW CREATION!
This is how God defines you if you have a relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. You are a new creation.
The old junk is gone, the brand new you is here. And the world around you will seek to conform you to its image, to its mold, and to its standards. But you can rebuke that pressure and reference this verse and hundreds of others like it.
God defines you by your relationship with Jesus. If you’re “in Christ” then you are new. You are bought with a price. You are free. You are a joint heir with Jesus. You’re a son of the King. You’re gifted. You’re valuable. You have a ministry. You have a purpose and meaning. You can be influential for the most powerful and eternal principles in existence if you’ll simply live up to God’s definition of the new you!
This is radical. This is hard to swallow. You may have even grown up in a Christian religious tradition that gave you the impression that the secret to holiness was self-loathing. Baloney!
When you’re “in Christ” you are redeemed! You are forgiven! You are clean! You are secure!
How are you defining yourself? Is it time to change your definition?