Who Are You Two?

I want to awaken you to your “identity”, but I fear you are not interested. There is so much for you to gain by making a journey of discovery about who you really are, that I find myself drawn back to trying to make you think about it.

So bear with me. Allow me to push this topic onto you again. Read this and think about it. If you do I suspect you will have reason to be glad, sometime in the future.

Identity Blur

Identity has been lost to many people today. They think they have understanding about who they are and how they fit in, but have never looked at the topic. So, they don’t realise how fuzzy their thinking is on the subject. For most people their ‘identity’ is a blur.

When you don’t know who you are, others can rob you of your destiny.

In my first post on this topic I mentioned Shasta, from CS Lewis’ story, The Rider and His Boy. Shasta was heir to a throne, but had lost any knowledge of that identity. Others had then taken control of his life and he willingly complied with their “ownership” over him.

You, too, have lost sight of your identity, and many people and forces have gained illegitimate control over your life and destiny.

Who I Am In Christ

Many people testify to the transforming discovery of who they are “In Christ”. Having grown up as sinners, living in the world system, they have been denied understanding of what it is to be a child of God.

When they become Christians they tend to still live in their familiar turf of the world’s messages about who they are. The devil intimidates them and people mock them, so they don’t blossom into the “glorious liberty of the children of God”.

It is not until someone presses upon them the truth of God’s word about who they are in Christ that they begin to change their thinking and move into the new life that already belongs to them. Sadly some Christians go to the grave, never discovering the reality of who they are.

Who are You?

That is why I keep coming back to the question of who you are. You are a slave if you do not know who you are and how you fit in among all the other people on the planet.

Due to your ignorance of the truth, you will make assumptions, fit into cultural expectations, believe the cultural lies, succumb to cultural controllers, live under cultural oppression, and let others tell you who and what you are, until and unless you decide to change all of that.

If your idea of who you are is a lame, misguided perception, then you will live a lame and misguided life. If your idea of who you are is delusional, then your life will be lost in disillusionment. If your idea of who you are is controlled by others, then you will be controlled by those others.

If you are blind you will fall into a ditch. If you are being led by the blind, you will both fall into a ditch. If you are careless and despise your birthright, you will lose it and never get it back, no matter how many tears you cry (as happened to Esau).

So, let me ask you again, “Who are you?”

Your Dimensions

You exist in multiple planes, so your identity is complex. It is wrong to summarise who you are in a few simple words, unless those words have been very carefully chosen.

You exist as a spiritual being, with moral impact at work upon you.

You exist within a family genealogy, which carries its inherited moral history into your life.

You exist as a political being, with some level of authority and under some level of accountability, ultimately linked back to who you are spiritually.

You exist in relationship, with family, friends and society at large.

You exist within certain things, such as your ethnicity, and thus outside of many other things, such as all the other ethnicities which you are not part of.

You exist as a discrete entity with its own capacities and limitations.

You also exist as part of various corporate contexts, which impinge on who you are.

You do all of this and more at the same time. So it is hard to find words that define and express the summation of who you are.

Hierarchy of Identity

When you list all of the qualifiers which identify you, you can then discover which ones have greater significance. We allude to that in such expressions as, “Blood is thicker than water”. By that we say that a person’s family connections take priority over other connections.

Which descriptors of who you are really make the difference and define who you Really are? Is your hair colour more significant than your wealth? Is your present wealth more significant than your past or future financial situation? Is your wealth more significant than your genealogy? Is your family connection more important than your career achievements? Is your marriage more important than your family of origin? Is a person’s present marriage more important than a past one?

Is being a parent more important than being a spouse? Is being a Christian more important than your ethnicity? Is being a member of one church more important than being a member of another?

Is being a backslidden Christian better than not having been one at all? Is being educated better than being rich? Is being self-reliant better than being dependent? Is being arrogant better than being humble?

Where do your most valued identifiers fit into the big picture of who is who and what is what?

The Row Boat

A row boat came ashore from a sailing ship. The row boat contained three adult men and a ten year old boy. One of the men wore a uniform and held a rifle. Who is who and what is what?

Is this a scene from Kidnapped? Is the lad the Captain’s cabin boy? Is the man with the rifle in charge? Is something illegal going on?

What do you think?

Well, you can’t really know until and unless you know who these people are. How are they connected? Who is who in terms of their relationships? Who is in command and what is going on?

I’ll let you ponder that and give you the answer in my next post in this Who Are You series.

All Men Are Equal

In his book, Animal Farm, George Orwell gave us the line, “All Animals Are Equal, but some animals are more equal than others!”

Are all men equal? Do all people pay the same taxes? Do all visitors to your country have the same visa? Do all employees get the same pay? Do all investors make the same money? Do all song writers have the same level of success? Do all sportsmen win the same trophies?

If equality exists it does so only in some limited way. Do you understand that? Do you understand how you fit in to the inequality of life? Do you know who you are and what impacts you, placing you where you find yourself? Do you know what to do about it if you wanted to change it?

Who in the world are you?

CS Lewis Weds

Clive Staples (CS) Lewis married Joy Davidman, on March 21, 1957. He was 59 years of age, an Oxford professor and a ‘confirmed bachelor’, who had forsaken his ‘determined atheism’ for Christianity over 20 years previously.

His Screwtape Letters (1942) and Mere Christianity (1952) had made his name well known throughout Christendom.

Joy Davidman was Jewish by birth – and had been associate editor of the Communist New Masses paper in America.  At the time the couple were wed she was divorced with two sons.

Joy abandoned Judaism and Communism and became a Christian in 1948, partly due to reading Lewis’ books. She wrote to Lewis, known by the nickname “Jack” since his childhood, concerning his books. In time her Communist theories had given way to the certainties of the Christian faith.  At the time she was still married to Bill Gresham. An on-going correspondence between Jack and Joy ensued.

The pair first met in 1953 when Joy visited England. The correspondence connection blossomed into a friendship, despite their diverse backgrounds.

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Following her return to America Joy’s marriage disintegrated when her husband deserted her.  Her husband instituted divorce proceedings.  Two years later she was back in England – and having trouble with the British Home Office, which refused to renew her visa.  She must leave.  But C.S. had a solution … he would marry her!

Their marriage was first done in secret, as a civil ceremony to satisfy the British Home Office. That was on April 23, 1956. That initial marriage of convenience was rethought as their relationship blossomed and so they decided to have a Christian wedding to celebrate their bond of love.

Joy was found to have cancer of the bone – and when they decided to have a public Christian wedding it was in the hospital ward they were joined as man and wife on 21 March, 1957.

Following the wedding Joy experienced a remarkable recovery. In July of 1958 the couple enjoyed a 10 day holiday in Ireland. Lewis continued with his recordings and writing.

In 1960 news that Joy’s cancer had returned prompted the couple to travel to Greece together, with another couple. They enjoyed many sights in their travels but shortly after their return Joy’s end came quickly.

Joy had lived another three years since the wedding … during which time friendship blossomed into love “they had never dared to think possible…”

Joy died on July 13, 1960, ending the former affirmed bachelor’s short-lived excursion into married life. Jack was distraught at Joy’s death, pouring out his grief in a book entitled ‘A Grief Observed‘. Three years later, Jack died on the day of President John F Kennedy’s assassination.

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This post is based on notes by my late friend Donald Prout. I have updated these historical posts with information gleaned from other sources. I am indebted to Don for awakening in me an interest in Church History. Don’s notes can be found at: www.donaldprout.com