What makes you who you are?

That’s a tough one. Yet, if we can’t at least describe the source of who we are or the very meaning of our existence, we are suffering from a case of identity crisis. We could choose to be defined by our passions, painful past, our goals each day, regrets, achievements, or people who have had a formative influence in our lives. This is deeper than what we can wrap our heads around, much more than what others can see on the outside, in terms of our lifestyles or appearance. What makes you who you are? Values, experiences, motivations, upbringing, relationships, or personalities? The list can go on, but this is truly the crux of the issue isn’t it? Those deeper things very few know about us. Yet, we can opt to take this question lightly, and we may forfeit our one chance to live this one life, as intended. Our confidence, self esteem and how we carry each day really depends on what kind of stuff we are made of. 

“We were purposefully created,—we didn’t come up with the idea of ourselves.”

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Genesis 1:26-27).”

So we were created—we didn’t come up with the great idea of ourselves. One may say , “Come on! I’m who I have become because of hard work and sacrifices I have made. Not to mention the decisions made for me, by those who raised me.”  Yes. Of course, there are many factors that have a great impact on who we become, but we are innately unique; with our fingerprints, DNA and personalities, that are no coincidence. 

Experiences can shape our attitudes and choices, but those things are subject to change on a whim. Who we are was determined before we came to be (Psalm 139). When God had a plan to create humans, He made them so they would be in His image and likeness. That meant, we have a purpose to resemble God and to be productive on the Earth He created as well. But what does that resemblance look like? The Son of God, The Lord Jesus Christ is the fullness of God in the flesh, having come as man. 

16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people (Hebrews 2:16-17).

The Lord Jesus took the form of a human, born of a virgin by the Spirit of God. Consider this carefully, what was intended in the motivation for the creation of man and woman was achieved by the birth of Deity in human form, born of a woman, and by the Spirit of God. That He may present us holy as God is Holy; by taking our likeness of sin upon Himself, so that we may be sons and daughters. Just as children bear resemblance to their parents, we have a resemblance to the Father through the Son.  

Who makes you who you are? There’s no question that every inventor that has created something has an intended purpose for it and requires that it remain so, if it’s to manifest its full potential. There are no mistakes with final products that are put out,—they have a distinct purpose and according to the manufacturer, they are complete. One may look at themselves and see how they have failed themselves and others, or that they could be a mistake. God makes no mistakes. He is intentional, precise, and perfect. His reputation or Glory depends on it. To answer the question again, who makes you? and who you are are not mutually exclusive. We have a divine nature as much as we have a natural or physical state. Here’s one better, one very exciting answer to the second part of the question, “who you are”.

“Our confidence, self esteem and how we carry each day really depends on what kind of stuff we are made of.” 

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4).

We are all sinners and apart from Christ we can’t attain the life God has for us. So? Well, that means that no matter where you are coming from, no matter who you choose to compare yourself with, we have all fallen short of God’s standard. Once again, God being forward-looking as He is, knew that we would fail, just as a child isn’t born to follow house rules. But Christ is now become our life. We died with Him at that Cross where He took on our human form, to pay for the sins of our human nature.  In this transaction at the Cross, we rose with Him, to new life in Him,—we are hidden with Him, in God (Colossians 3:1-5). Talk about the exceeding great wisdom of God-to do what He promised in the beginning. What an incredible identity we have!

“Our outward nature is an expression of what’s bred within.”

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:3-6).

We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we may be children of God, in the Son of God. We are loved, and we are filled with the fullness of God in Christ, which is love. So who we are is loved by our Father, and we are made complete by this love, not worldly love or acceptance. Love is the stuff we are made out of, and is what we should be about. Not only are we to be fruitful, be productive and fill the earth, but we are to do so with love that has been poured into us, by His Holy Spirit,—born again by the same Spirit of Christ. It’s the only true way to live, and be in the likeness of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit, Who is Christ in us, beckons us to allow Him to express Himself through us. 

Our outward nature is an expression of what’s bred within. Left to our own devices we can be destructive, self righteous, critical of ourselves and others. We all need help and are a working progress. Let’s take the focus off all the wrong we do, or should not do and put on rose-colored glasses of all the good we can attain. 

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit(Galatians 5:22-25).

Easier said than done, right? Of course. But, apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15). Let us purpose to strive to attain what we have already obtained, in love. To love the Lord our God with all of our being, strength, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. There’s no room to stumble in love, nor to look down on ourselves and others, because we are all loved. Only then, can we live to our full potential and understand our existential purpose . 

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