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?

Who Are You?

This is not a silly question. It is probably one of the most important questions you can answer. And it impacts most areas of your life. So, I am here to make you think about, “Who are you?”

Since this is a huge subject I will probably come at it several times and from different angles, prompting you to think about something you have already decided is not important.

Why do I do this to myself? Here I am trying to make you ponder something that you have ignored most of your life, even though it has impacted most decisions you’ve ever made. I must be a masochist or something!

Oh well, here I go anyway.

Pick a Label

What words best describe who you are? Before I prompt you any further, take a moment to list three words that describe who you are…….

Now, I’m waiting…..

Don’t keep reading until you’ve picked three labels that describe who you are. Make a mental note, or scribble them down somewhere, because we will probably refer back to them later.

Now, think of the last person you spoke with. It might have been a family member or work associate, or someone who just spoke with you on the phone. Identify who you are going to label. Write their name down, and then list three labels which describe who they are.

A Thousand Brands

Just as there are thousands of brands around the world, for clothing, food, entertainment, etc, there are thousands of labels that could be put on people and that could be attached to you. So I expect that you, my reader, could have come up with labels I have never thought of.

Allow me, then, to give a few examples, even if they are far from what you came up with. Then make a comment at the end of this post, to let me know what you came up with when you started labelling. I’d love to know what you are coming up with.

Possible Labels

You may have labelled yourself based on your gender: man, woman, boy or girl. You may have labelled yourself based on relationships: wife, son, grandad, auntie, etc. You may have labelled yourself based on age: kid, adult, teen, octogenarian, etc. You may have labelled yourself based on activity: uni student, musician, salesman, housewife, consultant, etc, or career: bookkeeper, teacher, businessman, engineer, etc. You may have labelled yourself based on spiritual status: Christian, atheist, new-ager, agnostic, etc. Or you may have labelled yourself by your personal features: hulk, doll, giant, fatso, red-head, muscle-man, Caucasian, etc.

But we’ve only just scratched the surface. You could be a home-owner or renter, an invalid, pensioner, graduate, champion, Liverpool or Dallas Cowboys supporter, soprano, hero, actor, superstar, and so the list goes on.

The Labels that Count

Of all the labels people come up with some are completely unimportant while other impact their whole life. But because people do not know who they are they can spend their whole life distracted by a label that has no significance at all.

In the much loved Peanuts comics by Charles Shulz, popular from the 1960’s, there were several characters who were preoccupied with their meaningless characteristics. Charlie Brown felt like a loser while five year old Frieda was absorbed by her “naturally curly hair”. Meanwhile Charlie’s dog, Snoopy, became absorbed with imaginations about himself as a hero.

None of the labels that distracted these characters deserved to have a lasting place in their lives. And Shulz was pointing out to his audience that being concerned about irrelevant things is a waste of our time and energies.

Do You Know What is What?

If you do not know what the important labels are and you do not know what labels best describe you then you do not truly know who you are and how you fit in the world. You run the serious risk of missing your destiny, ruining things that belong to you and filling your life with irrelevant things.

In the Narnia stories by C.S. Lewis we are introduced to Shasta, a boy serving as a slave. The boy and his master did not know that the lad was a prince and an heir to the throne in another land. The boy could have spent his life as a slave, but that is not how Lewis allowed it to play out.

In the 2008 cartoon movie, Kung Fu Panda, we find a misfit panda who has a vastly different destiny to that imagined for him by his ‘father’. The fat panda could easily have missed his life calling.

In these and a myriad other examples we know of people who wore labels that wrongly described them, or which limited them from their true potential.

Revelation of Destiny

The Bible contains several examples of people who were given a new, divinely endorsed label, which transformed their life.

Gideon was called a “mighty man of valour”, while he was hiding from the enemy.

Peter, James and John were called to be “fishers of men”, while they had only caught fish up to that time.

Moses was called to be a deliverer of Israel, while he was in extended exile from Egypt, doing no more than mind sheep.

Elisha, Jehu and several prophets were called, unexpectedly, from their natural life, to a divine purpose.

What About You?

If God were to speak with you right now, which of the labels you used to describe yourself would He say was the most important? Would He likely have a new and better label for you?

And what about the other person you thought of? What divine label would God have for them? Would He be impressed with the labels you have chosen to describe them?

If God turned up and gave you three completely new labels, wonderful and full of blessing, what would you want them to be? Which labels would you love to have removed from your life?

Who Are You?

Now, I’ve started you thinking, even if only for a moment or two. So, let me ask you again, “Who are you?”

Write a list of five words that describe the Real You.

Write another five words that describe who you are in God’s sight.

Write another five words to describe who you are politically.

Then try another five words that describe who you are in relationship with others.

Then, email those lists to me, so I can see who in the world is reading this to –  chris@chrisfieldblog.com

Oh, and you can put your thoughts as a comment on this post as well.