There is a lot of confusion in our world today. Think of it--not long ago, questions that would never have been asked or given any airtime, have become issues of debate and argument in our schools, the Church, and even the political arena and government. The one I am thinking of just now is the matter of identity.
Who Am I? Put another way, I could ask, ‘Who are you?’ How would you answer?
In thinking about it, we start with elements such as gender, ethnicity, and the various roles we play, but is that sufficient? Hmmm.
No, those will stop short in telling me who I am. Step a little closer - I was the youngest, by a good margin, of four children, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. My parents encouraged pride in our name/heritage. As such, I was corrected if I showed weakness. ‘You are a Todd (family name)—never let ‘em see you sweat.’ Yes, my Oklahoman dad and his siblings were a proud crew. So I would have identified as a girl and a Todd, and I'm not sure if I truly understood or could have articulated much more.
We cast about trying to identify ourselves - sure, there's gender and ethnicity, family and birth order, roles, relationships and careers. There's what people say about us and to us, and the things we have come to believe about ourselves, but these fall so very short.
Yet it is vitally important we understand who we are as human beings as it is a critical piece in understanding the meaning of life and finding our place in the world.
It was not long ago I addressed the question Does God Exist? One of the evidences for God is the intelligent design of the universe, including the miraculous design of the human being. In Genesis 1.26-27, we read, “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
You and I were created by God, made uniquely in his image, fitted for relationship with him. Indeed Paul explains we are meant to be sons of God, adopted by him. "You received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”1
No other relationship, no other religion in the world is offered or explained like this. Our Heavenly Father knocked down the barrier that our sin and guilt had between us and him through Jesus' death on the cross, then He chose us, tenderly adopted us to be his very own sons and daughters, and invited us to call him our Father. He made us his heirs, along with Jesus Christ, for eternity--that which can never be taken away.2
Only the Artist sees and knows what she intends when she shapes and molds the clay, and only the Creator can ascribe to the creature who he is and who he is meant to be. We must look to the One who knit us together in our mother's womb3, who will take great delight in us and rejoice over us with singing.4 Our identity is in Him alone, Friends.
Who Am I? A girl with a Father who loves her unconditionally, filled with hope and a smile on my face, desiring to live each day on purpose.
1 - Romans 8.15
2 - Romans 8.17
3 - Psalm 139.13
4 - Zephaniah 3.17