Why Identity Matters
Why does identity matter? Why spend the next 2 months exploring this? Because we are talking about the REAL you, the TRUE you.
Who am I? This is the question of identity.
What am I? This is the question of what it means to be a human being.
What am I here for? This is the question of the meaning of one’s life.
Why am I here? This is the question of purpose in one’s life.
These questions are all related. Any answer to one question affects the answers to the other questions. So, identity, humanity, meaning, and purpose are all connected. If you don’t know who you are, it will be very hard to answer the other questions.
Above all, you need to know the Truest Things About You. Get used to that phrase, you’ll hear it a lot in the weeks ahead.
You have heard me use this quote before. Poet Mary Oliver asks,
“Tell me, what will you do with your one wild and precious life?”
When I talk about the Truest Things About You, I am talking about that which is MOST TRUE and MOST REAL. As we will see in the days ahead, there are also TRUE things about you, but what is most important are the TRUEST THINGS about you.
If you are using the weekly devotional resources we prepare to go along with the Sunday messages, you will have looked at many good scriptures that reveal some of the Truest Things About You. But like the commercial goes, “Wait, there’s more.”
Life is a gift. Your life is a gift. Your life is a gift to you. And your life is a gift to others. This is the first Truest Thing about you.
What a wonderful way to live. You can either take this gift for granted, or you can take it with gratitude.
Take it with gratitude.
Chesterton said, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” (See the other quote by Chesterton about how he takes the gift of every day with gratitude.)
So your life, this day, is one of the Truest Things About You.
God wants you to be fully alive. What will you do today with your one, wild, and precious life? The ancient Christian theologian, Irenaeus, said, “The glory of God is a person fully alive.” That is the second of the Truest Things about you. God wants you to be fully alive today. And when you are, God is pleased and God is glorified.
The presence of God is with you. You don’t need to live only half awake. Nor on autopilot. Nor drowsy or distracted. Nor half-hearted or double-minded about your day. Instead, be fully alive, wide awake, on high alert, and tuned in attentively to God’s presence with you. For Jesus says both he and his Father are at work every day (John 5:17).
That is another gift, and the third of the Truest Things about you—the presence and divine activity of Jesus in, through, and with you. Amazing! You are not alone. You are not on your own. God is at work in and through you to accomplish his divine purposes (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13).
God gives you what you need. He is giving you the strength, the wisdom, and all the grace you need today to seize the day and make the most of it. That’s the fourth Truest Thing about you. You are empowered by God to make the most of life and the most of every day.
FIVE & SIX:
Dignity and destiny. I hope you see how this worldview belief in a Creator God who is sovereignly engaged with the world, who is lovingly engaged with the world, and who is engaged in the world through intermediaries-agents (his sons and daughters) makes all of life sacred. It creates the fifth and sixth Truest Things About you. Your life is full of dignity (#5) and partnership with God is your destiny (#6).
And we haven’t even talked about the Image of God yet! That is about the most amazing of the Truest Things About You. More on that to come in the weeks ahead.
This is the strong foundation. This is the center and the core of who you Truly Are, who you Really Are. If you get this foundation and core in place, then many more supplemental TRUE things can be added. But if we miss out on the core, a True Thing will become a weak substitute for the Truest Things.
I hope you understand why, no matter what else life holds, the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the joys and the sorrows, this kind of life makes your life a Wonderful Life. So, seize this day and live to the fullest your wild and precious life.
Soli Deo Gloria,