From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. Acts 17:26 (NIV).
A woman got on an elevator with just one other person. He was a handsome man. After pushing the button for her floor she looked over at the man and suddenly had one of those moments of recognition. Could it be? The man looked exactly like Robert Redford, the movie star. After staring at him for several seconds she finally blurted out, “Are you the real Robert Redford?” He smiled and said, “Only when I’m alone!”
Who are you? Who are you when you’re alone? Who’s the real you – not your family and friends, work or church persona – who’s the real you? Some people define their identity culturally. They say they’re Mexican, Yugoslavian, or Palestinian. Others define their identity geographically. They say they’re a New Yorker, a Londoner, an Islander, or a Siberian. Some view their identity through the lens of sexuality. They say they’re heterosexual, homosexual, transsexual, or other such descriptors. Some define their identity vocationally – they’re a dentist, secretary, nurse, teacher, or mechanic. Some define their identity generationally – they’re a Boomer, Millennial or Centennial. Some define their identity by their personality type – they’re an introvert or an extrovert, sensing or intuitive, and so on. And some people define their identity religiously – they’re a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, atheist or whatever.
Identity … Who are you? Who are you really? Who are you beyond all doubt? Millions of people don’t know. They’re desperately searching – trying to find out who they really are. They devour movies, novels and self-help books, anything that might help them discover who they are. They go to therapy sessions, synagogue or séances. They read the horoscopes or enroll in courses of philosophy. But despite their best efforts many people still don’t know who they are.
It’s important to know who you are. If you don’t know who you are, how can you possibly live life to the full? Here’s something you need to know. The devil doesn’t want you to know who you really are. “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy” John 10:10 (NLT). The devil’s into identity theft and will do everything possible to undermine and upset who you are. If he can keep you in a fog – obscure the real you – then he can keep you from the fullness of life Christ wants to give you. Which is why the question of your identity is so important.
So who are you? No lies, no pretense, just the plain truth.
Ephesians 1:11 says, “It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for” (MSG). If you’re not sure who you are then you need to know the answer’s found in Christ. And according to Christ there are three things at the heart of your identity: You are made like Christ (cf. Genesis 5:1), loved by Christ (cf. Jeremiah 31:3) and designed to be filled with Christ (cf. Ephesians 1:23). So get your head and heart in tune with these three things and you’ll be well on your way to understanding who you really are.