Who am I?

When our children were younger we had a game that they loved to play. Perhaps you have played it too. The game was Guess Who, and for those that aren’t familiar with it I will have a go at explaining what it is all about. Above is an image of the game, there were two of these boards and each of the faces fold down. The face at the bottom is you and by a process of elimination you try to discover the identity of your opponent before they identify you.

You ask questions like, “do you have a beard?” Or perhaps “are you wearing glasses?” Eventually someone works out who you are and they win the game.  What we look like can contribute significantly to who we think we are. Just consider advertising for a moment, make up, hair colouring, perfect teeth, and cosmetic surgery and so on. What we own, type of car, holidays and more and more information constructs a self-image and worth from a perspective of the world we live in frequently based on distorted human values.

Phillip Yancey in Reaching for the Invisible God in the chapter titled “Makeover” makes several personal observations about identity. He admits he struggled with who he was, the accent he had and the place he was born and lived. He worked on his accent and his mannerisms to conceal these give away components of an identity he wished he never had. He put it like this, “in my high school years I sought to deconstruct and then reconstruct my identity. I wanted to disassociate myself form my home region” (pg161).

As the chapter progresses and various anecdotes shared, Yancey constructs a clear argument for an identity of great worth, an identity dependant neither on others nor us, but an identity that entirely rests in God’s love, grace and mercy. A God given identity that reflects the nature of Christ, an identity that is enabled and maintained by the power and presence of God’s Holy Spirit who dwells in us.  It is an identity that grows in us and transforms, it supplants the broken image of God and restores us to a humanity lost through sin. This God identity trumps all other identities and exposes their shortcomings and restores worth and stability that they can never offer.

Yancey notes as he quotes from a sermon he heard, “God’s love, thankfully, is not based on our intrinsic worth. It comes by grace, a priceless yet free gift that bestows worth on the most unlovable object. Some things are loved because they are worthy and some things are worthy because they are loved – theologically we fit the latter category.”

Who are you?      If in Christ just for starters you are child of the living God.

 1 John 3:1a  See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

And that is what we are!

Pastor Stewart.