“Who am I?” is a question asked by many people all over the world. Not knowing who you are implicates a feeling of not belonging. It reveals you don’t know the reason you are here on planet earth and it indicates that you feel alienated. If we want to find out who we are as Christians, we should ask ourselves, who am I to God?
Not knowing who we are to Jesus may cause us to walk the journey of life without purpose; we exist instead of live. When we are not aware of who we are (our identity), we get easily influenced by others: family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, acquaintances, sports-buddies, Christian brothers and sisters, and so on.
When we don’t know our identity in Christ, any wave in life may influence us, causing us to be unstable. If we don’t define ourselves and walk around with the nagging question-who am I to God?- in our minds, we can’t live up to our full potential and can’t flourish in all our God-given talents and abilities.
On the contrary, when we know who we are according to God, we will also know why we exist and what we ought to do with our lives. In effect, this enables us to live our lives to its fullest. We can operate in our God-given abilities and talents.
Why do we ask ourselves who am I to God?
When we don’t know who we are, it means we haven’t defined our identity. What is an identity? Identity is the fact of being who or what a person is or the characteristics determining who or what a person is. As we can see, our identity determines who we are.
Our identity is the way we define ourselves. This includes our values, our beliefs, and our personality. It also encompasses the role we play in our society and family, as well as our memories, our hopes for the future, and our hobbies and interests. These together form our identity and serves as the basis of knowing who we are in God.
When we don’t know who we are, according to the Bible, we easily live based on a false identity or an ever-changing identity, causing us to be insecure in all our dealings. When we don’t have a sense of our real identity (who we are to God), we can feel disconnected ourselves, thus opening ways for others to influence us.
As Christians, we have our identity in Christ (or are supposed to have). But when we wonder who we are to Jesus, it means we haven’t formed (or found) our identity in Christ yet.
What if I don’t know who God says I am?
“Who am I to God?” is not just a simple question; it has deep roots into our inner-being and has far-reaching consequences for our lives. Usually, when we don’t know who we are in God, we manifest the following behavior:
- Changing with our environments
- Being easily influenced by others
- Having frequent radical shifts in our opinions
- Not liking when being asked about ourselves
- Shifting views of ourselves
- Distrusting ourselves, deep down inside us
- Getting bored easily
- Being molded by our relationships
- Relationships do not run deep
Reasons we don’t know who we are according to God
There could be several reasons could cause we don’t know (or don’t accept) our identity.
Influence of culture
Culture has a major influence on our identity. It influences our beliefs about what is true and false, our attitudes, including our likes and dislikes, our values regarding what is right and wrong, and our behaviors. These cultural influences form our identity.
If our culture pushes us in one direction (especially as women), but the enforced identity does not click with our view of ourselves, we could enter a state of not knowing who we are (or supposed to be according to our culture).
Perhaps you were born with a leader mentality but have been pushed down since you were a child simply because, according to your culture, your ‘tribe’ does not lead.
Influence of family, relatives, and friends
People closely around us can easily become a channel of influence on our identity. For example, when people constantly treat us as being inferior or less important than them, we could build up a false view of ourselves.
Family values, morale, and ethics also can influence our self-identity. When others force us to behave in a certain way, we could construct a façade to obey the demand being placed on us. This causes conflicts in our identity and self-view.
Our childhood is extremely important in building a healthy self-view. The way others treated us as children determines the way we see ourselves as adults. For example, if we have been raised in an authoritarian environment and have been repressed all the time, it causes us to create a fake identity in order not to get punished. Over time, this can cause you don’t know who you really are.
Influence of history
The history of our ancestors could still be an influence on us. For example, the trans-Atlantic slave trade of colonial times caused many people to be displaced and scattered around the globe to places where they did not have links to their (cultural) roots. The so-called colonial masters purposefully cut off the culture, history, and identity of millions of slaves around the globe. As a result, many people lost their identity and feeling of belonging. The people who suffered most from colonialism and the slave trade were Africans.
- Effects on people’s identity
Even though the era of the slave trade is over, the effect is still felt by millions of people all around the globe. They do not know their identity and have a feeling of not belonging, even though the facts occurred hundreds of years ago.
- Slave mentality
Many descendants of slaves now living in ‘foreign’ countries, and inhabitants of former colonial countries, have a slave-mentality even though they literally have nothing to do with the past of their forefathers. The impact of slavery has negatively affected their minds and behavior.
It causes them to let other people determine their lives and identity. Their slave-mentality causes them to remain stagnant in life instead of progressing. They think others are always better and more important than them.
Who am I to you in the Bible?
Whether your family, friends, culture, or history have negatively influenced you, it is not too late to break free from it. You may feel alienated, but your past is not your end. It simply is your past and you cannot change that.
You can, however, change your future. You change your future by stopping to look at your past. Focusing on your past keeps you in bondage to your past (or the past of your forefathers).
Did your forefathers create you? Does your family or culture determine your life? Does your past determine who you are today? The answer to these questions is ‘NO’.
No matter where you were born or live, don’t let your past define you. Your past is just your past. God created you, not your past. The good and bad experiences you have gone through have shaped you. However, those experiences don’t ultimately define you; God does. He created you. He knew you before you were born. And He created you for a purpose.
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.”Jeremiah 1:5a (NLT)
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”Psalm 139:16 (NLT)
Who am I according to God?
When we don’t know our identity, the people around us, events, and life impede us knowing who we are. This may cause us to ponder questions in our mind, such as “who am I?” and “why am I here?”.
You may say, “I need to find myself”. Well, as a child of God, you don’t have to search far to find out who you are. You only need to realize you are part of something bigger and connected to a bigger purpose than life here on earth.
As a child of God, you shouldn’t look back to your past, your culture, or your family to find out who you are. As a Christian, God defines you. He describes who you are. All you need to do is find out what your identity in Christ is, who you are in Christ.
Let’s have a look at what the bible says about our identity, about who we are in Christ Jesus:
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”Galatians 2:20 (NLT)
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!.”2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
We so easily forget who we are. And we forget it is even more important to know whose we are. When we know whose we are as God’s children, we know we belong to Him and that our identity is in Him. But we have an enemy that wants us to forget who and whose we are.
It is therefore vital to find out from God who we are. We can find out who we are according to the Bible.
What does the Bible say about knowing who you are?
The bible provides many scriptures that describe who and whose we are. We should keep reading God’s Word and keep reminding ourselves of who and whose we are.
Why is it so important to read the word of God? Because “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV). We shouldn’t just read who and whose we are, but also believe it. When we believe, we can act on it and subsequently live a victorious life, in the full knowledge of who and whose we are.
We should keep reading, reminding, and believing because we, human beings, are weak in our flesh and easily forget what God tells us. Our “spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41 NKJV).
Knowing who we are is not just for the benefit of ourselves. God wants us to know who we are and walk in that knowledge. Satan knows that too well and would do anything to keep us wondering who (and whose) we are and is happy when we keep asking “who am I?” and “who am I to God?” and “who am I in Christ?”.
The Word of God says:
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”I Peter 5:8 (NLT)
Who God says I am, a list
If we want to find out who we are to God, we need to check His Word. Many Bible verses give us the answer to the question, who am I in Christ? If I want to know who God says I am, I check the Scriptures. Only God’s Word will give us the answer to who am I according to the Bible. We can only define ourselves when we know what God’s Word says about us.
Here is a list of who we are in God and in Christ:
You are His child
Who am I as a child of God? God calls us His children. Being a child of God defines who you are.
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”John 1:12 (NLT)
“For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”Galatians 3:26 (NLT)
“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!”I John 3:1a (NLT)
You are His
The Scriptures tell us we are God’s own, we belong to Him. If we ever have a feeling of not-belonging, we can study God’s Word to know who we really are.
“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.”I Peter 2:9a (NLT)
You are New in Christ
Our identity in Christ is that we are new. We are no longer who we were in the past, but we are everything God says we are. Christ makes us completely new in Him.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”II Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
You are His masterpiece
The most marvelous revelation of who we are to God is in Ephesians. Ephesians reveals who God says I am: His masterpiece.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
Live your life based on who and whose you are
When we find out in the word of God who and whose we are, we can then live based on that revelation. We can humble yourself under God’s mighty hand and know that He cares for us and loves us.
Knowing whose you are, can take an enormous weight from your mind and ease many anxieties.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”I Peter 5:7 (NLT)
To have a solid identity in Christ, we need to be the same person, no matter our circumstances and our environment. That will give us a stable identity. We can only achieve that when we know whose we are (God’s own possession) and who we are (God’s child). Only this will enable us to know our ultimate identity: our identity in Christ.
How can we remember who we are according to the bible?
It’s important to remember who and whose we are. When we remember we are God’s child, we will not allow ourselves to doubt our identity nor get influenced by our surroundings. Rather, we will be stable in all our affairs and unwavering in all our doings.
Remembering who and whose we are is not a onetime event. We do that continually by:
- Staying in the Word of God
- Praying constantly
- Following His commands
- Trusting the Lord with all our heart and minds
When we do this, we will live our lives in the restful knowledge of who and whose we are. We will quench the daunting question: Who am I to God?
Thank You Lord, that You have already dealt with my question, “who am I to God?”. You have engraved in my heart that I am Yours. I am grateful I am not my own, but belong to You. I don’t need to worry about my identity anymore.
I am new, I am your child, and I am perfect. I accept and embrace who I am in You.
Created in Your flawless image, I will live my days here on earth and will fulfill your purpose for my life; the true reason You created me. Help me, Lord, to stay in the knowledge of who and whose I am. Whenever I wander away, remind me with your still and loving voice that I am Yours and will forever be Yours.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
‘The God of New Beginnings’ provides rich insights, examples, and guidance for receiving your new beginning from God. You will learn to grasp God’s nature, trust Him, and rely on His unfailing love for you.