by Neil Anderson
UNDERSTANDING WHO YOU ARE
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God
I enjoy asking people, "Who are you?" It sounds like a simple question requiring a simple answer, but it really isn't. For example, if someone asked me, "Who are you?" I might answer, "Neil Anderson."
"No, that's your name. Who are you?"
"I'm an American."
"No, that's where you live."
I could also say that I'm five feet nine inches tall and a little over 150 pounds--actually quite a little over 150 pounds! But my physical dimensions and appearance aren't me either. If you chopped off my arms and legs, would I still be me? If you transplanted my heart, kidneys or liver, would I still be me? Of course! Now if you keep chopping, you'll get to me eventually because I'm in here somewhere. But who I am is far more than what you see on the outside.
We may say with the apostle Paul that we "recognize no man according to the flesh." But we tend to identify ourselves and each other primarily by physical appearance (tall, short, stocky, slender) or by what we do (plumber, carpenter, nurse, engineer, clerk). Furthermore, when asked to identify ourselves in relation to our faith, we usually talk about our doctrinal position (Protestant, evangelical, Calvinist, charismatic), our denominational preference (Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Independent), or our role in the church (Sunday school teacher, choir member, deacon, usher).
But is who you are determined by what you do, or is what you do determined by who you are? That's an important question, especially as it relates to Christian maturity. I subscribe to the latter. I believe wholeheartedly that your hope for growth, meaning and fulfillment as a Christian is based on understanding who you are--specifically your identity in Christ as a child of God. Your understanding of who you are in Christ will greatly determine how you live your life.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I know I am complete in You. Don't allow me to fall back into fleshly attributes today in an attempt to impress others or You.
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