Who Are You?
Where do you find your roots? Is your identity rooted somewhere? How do you know who you are?
As we walk through this life I think that this might be one of the most important questions that we face. The world comes at us pretty fast and more times than not the knowledge of who we are helps us to know what to do.
My mentor Bob Smart does a lot of work in identity formation. One of the significant things that he has you do is to write your story. It starts with basic genealogy. This step is so critical because our parents shape us in ways that we can only begin to imagine. The knowledge of where we come from is a small step in knowing who we are.
Often times when I am counseling someone who is going through a hard time they say, “I don't feel like I even know who I am anymore.”
When we feel that way we have a sense of our loss of being rooted. We don't feel like we have any self-knowledge and as a result, we feel out of control.
During these conversations I will ask them their parents names. Then I will say to them, “At the very least, you know you are the daughter of Mary and Jim.” Then, I will ask the names of other significant relationships like spouse, children, and the like. Reminding them that they are at the very least the husband, father, wife, mother of these people.
If they are people who follow Jesus I will remind them also that at the very least they are a son or daughter of the King.
To know who we are is to help us feel connected to reality. When our sense of identity is in flux we are like ships without rudders. We feel lost and confused and alone.
As the people of God would ascend to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem they would sing of their identity. As they drew near to the holy place the was an overwhelming need to remember who they were.
The people who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion: never shaken, lasting forever. Mountains surround Jerusalem. That’s how the Lord surrounds his people from now until forever from now! The wicked rod won’t remain in the land given to the righteous so that they don’t use their hands to do anything wrong. Lord, do good to people who are good, to people whose hearts are right. But as for those people who turn to their own twisted ways— may the Lord march them off with other evildoers! Peace be on Israel!
Their identity was rooted and grounded in their trust of the Lord. This resulted in them not being shaken.
What a beautiful image in the verse, “That's how the Lord surrounds his people from now until forever from now!”
God surrounded his people. He was their cover, their protection, their shelter. They could trust him.
As they sang they remembered their identities, ones that were grounded in the Lord. Their identities were tied to God's identity. Who God is helped them know who they were.
How do you know who you are?
Where do you seek your identity?