Every day you live with yourself. You look at yourself, talk to yourself, and sometimes even like yourself. At other times you’d rather run away from yourself, but you always seem follow. You are an omnipresent force in your life, so you need to learn how to live with yourself.
But, who are you? One obvious answer to that question is, “You are who you say you are.” After all, no one knows you better than you, right? I’m not so sure. We are really good at self-deception. The truth is, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). Often times our focal length is too close to see ourselves clearly. Have you ever looked at a picture or heard a recording of yourself and thought, “Is that me?”
Of course, there are plenty of people who are quick to tell you, “You are who we say you are.” Your identity is determined by how your looks, possessions, knowledge and skills stack up against your contemporaries. This approach seems to work if you can find enough people who are deemed inferior to you. However, the comparison game has no winners! Your self-image will quickly wither away once you find someone who has it better than you. Truly, it is not wise to compare ourselves to others (2 Cor. 10:12).
The clearest way to understand yourself is to see yourself as God sees you. He has the best credentials to know who you are. He created your mind and body and knows how they work. He keeps count of the hairs on your head, and knows every intention of your heart. Nothing about you is hidden from His sight. His integrity and intelligence allows Him to understand you not only fully, but accurately. David wrote, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me!” (Psalm 139:1).
Well then, who does God say I am? Before we dive into the specifics please understand this is one of the most vital questions you’ll ever consider. An inaccurate understanding of who we are will either plunge us into periods of despair, or send us on reckless flights of pride. Some of us, dare I say most of us, ride those emotional turbulences often.
Who we are begins with an unflattering truth: We are wretched, rebellious sinners. “There is none righteous, no not one” (Rom. 3:10). We may recoil at such an offensive accusation, but in our hearts we know better. We know the bitterness we’ve harbored, the harm we’ve inflicted, and the indifference we’ve had for God’s ways. Beneath our polished veneer lays the filthy rags of a sinner. We don’t get better by ignoring it or rejecting it.
This truth makes the second aspect of our identity all the more astounding: We are the objects of the intense and abundant love of God. All of us. No matter what we’ve done. Yes, you. God knows every sinful thought, every hurtful action you’ve ever done and still chooses to extravagantly love you. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Breathe the air, taste your food, see the beauty of creation, and look upon the cross and understand that you are the object of the greatest love the world will ever know!
For those who accept God’s love and obey His gospel the news is even better: We are the children of God (1 John 3:1); holy and blameless (Eph. 1:4); citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20); joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17); temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19); and accepted by God (Rom. 15:7). Dear believer, that is who you are, along with a hundred more statements like them. No wonder the Bible says, “The Lord takes delight in His people” (Psalm 149:4).
You will focus on God’s ability and glory, not your own. Seeing yourself through God’s eyes does not cause you to think, “I am great!” Never! You are weak and rebellious. To see yourself as God sees you is to be left breathless with gaping mouth thinking, “God is great!” Why praise the stone when the Sculptor is near? Then your pride is subdued when you see God’s work in you. Your fear is dispelled in the astonishment of His steadfast love. David was right, “May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” (Psalm 70:4).
You will find your purpose is to glorify God. You do not exist to fulfill your pleasures or exalt your name (2 Cor. 5:15). You would be left on the trash heap of eternity if God did not take you and make you His own. Now, as Paul put it, “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Cor. 15:10). You can be happy where you are, even if you don’t like where you are, because even there you can fulfill your purpose to glorify God. That’s who you are.
Perhaps it’s time to change the way you talk to yourself. Maybe you need to replace your confident boastings about what you own and have accomplished with an acute awareness of your own rebellious heart and eternal ruin before God. Or, perhaps you need to exchange your self-centered words of self-loathing for an acceptance of God’s love and fill your mouth with words of gratitude for His abundant mercy and grace.
You live with yourself every day. It’s time to see you more clearly.
“Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14)
Question: How would seeing yourself as God sees you change the way you live? I’d love to hear your answer.
Lists Of Verses That Describe Who You Are In Christ:
1) Ken Boa has a list entitled, “Who Does God Say I Am?” Check it out here: https://bible.org/article/who-does-god-say-i-am
2) Open Bible has a topic entitled, “Who Am I In Christ” Check it out here: http://www.openbible.info/topics/who_am_i_in_christ
A Sermon: Job is a great example of a man who came to see himself more clearly. Hold On To Your Faith (Perseverance – Job 1-2) Now, these are personal notes, so don’t be too hard on my typos and grammar 🙂