Genesis Day 2: Who do you think you are?
From John Legend, to Christi Perry, to Agnus & Julia Stone, to Bo Donaldson and the Haywoods… to the Spice Girls and more… artists have written poems and songs with the title "Who do you think you are?"
Oftentimes the lyrics are projected onto someone, a lover, who has either abandoned, even mistreated, the author.
Sometimes, as in the Spice Girls lyrics, the question probes a deeper question.
The race is on to get out of the bottom
The top is high so your roots are forgotten
Giving is good as long as you're getting
What's driving you it’s ambition and betting
Knowing who we are, or rather, who we are meant to be—our identity—drives our lives.
Identity is a recurring theme for me. As a Pastor, I have sat with people and listened and talked and prayed for hours. Don’t misunderstand, it is a privilege, an honor, a blessing, and a responsibility.
When you do it enough, you begin to see patterns, and you begin to figure out what the most helpful questions can be for someone.
The question I most frequently ask folks is this: “Would you describe yourself for me?”
That question is a question of identity: how people see themselves.
I hear all sorts of answers. The answers give insight into how a person’s “self-image” might either be helping or hurting them.
Are they, as Posh Spice and the gang sung, “racing to get out of the bottom—driven by ambition and betting”?
How you view your identity—who and whose you are—matters.
The best answer I have ever heard (and I have heard it more than once) is, “I am child of God - loved by Him.”
It comes from this first part of Genesis.
This answer is critical to human flourishing. Unfortunately, the noise around Genesis chapter one is so deafening, we do not hear it.
Yet in that text, if we can hear past the noise, we will hear an even deeper SOUND. We will hear WHY we were born—WHAT FAMILY we are a part of—in fact WHO, at our core, we are! Consider how God sees you.
(26) “Then God said, 'Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.'” NLT
Have a self-image problem? You are made in the image of God. You are God’s crowning achievement.
It is important that I don’t, at this moment, put myself in the center. However, it is significant to note our position in God’s created world. The first thing God does after he creates humankind is bless us (cf. 1:28).
God loves us. In the next chapter, we will read more details that demonstrate His deep desire for us.
WHO are you? You are a child of God; created in God’s image.
After blessing us, he gives us his creation and tells us to care for it. It is as if God creates all the world, and then He tosses the keys of his best car to us: sixteen-year-olds who just got our license.
Our purpose is to take care of this beautiful creation. We will read even more of our purpose, but for now, we are given the blessing of stewarding God’s created world.
Right now, I am basking in the knowledge that I am not some random event in some random universe. There is order. I have a place and a purpose. And even more than that, there is this God who considers humanity as his crowning achievement.
When someone asks you not just who you are, but what your primary identity is, how do you answer?
I suggest you answer: a child of God, loved by Him, steward of His world. Do you believe that?