Who Are You?

Posted on March 17, 2008
Filed Under Timeless Questions | Leave a Comment

the-bourne-identity.jpg The rock band The Who is famous for asking the question, Who are you?  If you are in the over 40 crowd you can probably sing at least the chorus (Who are you? Who, who, who, who ) where they ask the question over and over.  More recently on the big screen, Jason Bourne, in The Bourne Identity, is dealing with amnesia and is desperately searching for his identity as he tries to reassemble the details of his life.  The more he discovers the less he wants to know.  As he pieces together the puzzle that is his life it appears that he is a highly trained government assassin.  What other conclusion can he draw from his fantastic fighting skills, secret cache of passports (with various identities) cash, weapons and proficiency in various languages?  Is his identity found in what he was trained to do?  Is it to be found in his previous line of work?  Or is identity something more permanent, more foundational?

How should any of us answer the question, who are you?  Where is your true identity found?  Is your identity found by what you think about yourself or what others think about you?  Does it have to do with your skills and abilities and what you have accomplished in the past?  Is your identity the combination of gifts and abilities that make up your personality profile?  Can you change your identity?  Can it be taken away or stolen?  Is your identity a role you play or something that forms a bedrock foundation to your life?  Do you get your identity from others?  Is your identity genetic and inherited or can it be developed over time?  When a person loses their mind, do they lose their identity?

Everyone has defining moments and experiences in life.  Do those experiences form your identity or just shape your character?  Wouldn’t it be great if you weren’t defined by your past? 

It is helpful to think about your identity as that which is most true about you and which cannot be taken away.  If that definition works, then the question becomes, what is most true about you?  Like the rebellious teenager who disowns his parents and runs away from home, whether they like it or not, their identity is still linked to his or her parents DNA and history.  Some things can’t be changed.

Is your identity a spiritual issue?  Is there an immaterial part of you, a soul that contains that which is truly you?  Does God play a role in determining your identity?  What if God had thoughts about you?  Would it make a difference if he thought highly about you?  Would God’s thoughts about you be any more or less important than what others think about you or what you think about yourself?  What if God was offering you an identity that could never be changed?  What if God offered to bring you into his family and relate to you like a parent does to a child in all the best ways that relationship was meant to be?

Your genetic makeup and personal history are very foundational whether we like to admit it or not, but maybe your identity can be more than that.  The Bible records many occasions when Jesus Christ talked about God’s love for each of us and his desire to welcome us into his family, to be his children.  It seems that for most of us our identity is ultimately found in our family and where we have come from.  Could that be true regarding a relationship with God too?

When I am being really honest, I often find myself wrestling with questions related to my identity.  Sometimes, like Jason Bourne, the more I learn the less I want to know.  Being reminded of what God says is true about me makes a very practical difference in the way I live my life.  So, as those philosopher musicians in the 1970’s asked, Who are you? Who, who, who, who?


Leave a Reply