Who am I ?
John 1 - 19-23
This week I have been reading the book of John with my church, and as I read this certain passage a few words stood out very prominently to me. The priests in the passage came to confront John saying, “Who are you? and what do you say about yourself?” These words got me thinking, and here are my thoughts...
Often the world can demand answers to questions like “who are you?” “Why do you step out and voice your opinion?” The main one I hear a lot when seeing people speaking up for what they believe in, “Who do you think you are? Who said you can say or do that?” We live in a society of competition and comparison, so that can lead to questions like the above.
We can constantly ask ourselves “Who am I? Where do I stand? Where do I fit in?”
I believe this question can either be your time to shine or a time when your light is dimmed. You can feel like your light has been put out because who we thought we were, wasn't what others perceived of us. Or when you thought you were going to be promoted to manager but turns out you're losing your job. Or the time you thought you were going to be a parent, but turns out you would leave the hospital alone. So the question persists on asking, who are you?
Well we could go off what your friend says about you. Your friend says you're a popular, famous chef who lives in the city, or maybe your parents agree that you're talented, but you have an unreliable character and a grumpy nature ruins you. So my point is if we go by the statement above, you're now a talented, famous, unreliable, grumpy chef that lives in the city. Only one of the statements is going to make you feel you have made it, but when you hear of what your parents say it tears you apart because you know that there's so much more to you. I know this is just an extreme example, but can be true for many of us, we can get taken the wrong way just because of one misunderstanding of character.
So who are we really?
John 1 v 19 says, “All things were made through and by God” and it goes on to say that when we choose to believe in Jesus we gain the right to be called “Children of God” and we gain the right because of the grace He gives us freely.
We are loved not for who we are in the world or in our friend’s eyes, but who we are in the Father's eyes.
WE are HIS.
It's only natural we belong to something. We will reference what we do when speaking to others. Have you ever thought about how you would introduce yourself if someone asked?
SO the big question is how do you see yourself? When the priest confronted John this was the second question that was asked .John was not what they expected, but John knew who he was and he knew his purpose. When he was asked this question, he didn't make a list of his strengths and his achievements but simply that he was making the path straight for the one that was coming...Jesus.
We can say too much about ourselves and we can also make the mistake of not saying enough. Maybe even passing it off as humility. I have done this quite often and i started to realise humility isn't hiding who you are or the gifts God has given you.
Sometimes it's knowing when to talk or when not to step out.
In Matthew 5:15, “Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colour's in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We are going public with this, as a public city on a hill. If I make you light bearers, you don't think I'm hiding you under a basket do you? I'm putting you on a lamp stand. Now I have put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand - shine. God is the generous Father in heaven.”
I honestly feel that this generation's basket is comparison. We compare so much of ourselves that we hide our light because it's not what we need it to be. We are told in the first chapter of John that Jesus is the light. So we know the light He is talking about is Jesus himself, and we shouldn't hide Jesus away from the world. The gifts we have can be used for Jesus, and hiding your gifts away for the sake of someone else's gift is hiding what Jesus has put within you. I'm not saying spend all day showing off your gifts, but simply use what God has given you. If that's to serve, serve. If that's to sing, then sing! If God has given you more than one gift, invest as the parable of the talents explains to us. Something buried in the ground can not be used if it's hidden.
So much of what we do now is to be seen and commented on by someone's opinion of us. I feel we could misinterpret this in a way we think we should be the one that is seen, when really even if we are not known by the human eye - we are seen in Jesus. I love when Jesus says to Nathanael, before the fig tree, “I saw you.” I don't actually think it's about being seen at all but rather that Jesus is seen through us .
"Don't shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you, others can see Him." - C. S. Lewis.
Jesus sees us before we want to be seen.