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Who am I?

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  • 810 People are praying for this
    You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
    Psalms 139: 1-5 (NIV)

    We were cleaning our teeth in the bathroom when my daughter said, “Everyone calls Nana something different, you call her ‘Mum’, Daddy calls her ‘Babs’, we call her ‘Nana’.” Unwittingly, she had hit on a profound truth – we are different things to different people. This is one of the reasons that, for all the talk on identity and knowing oneself, it is always going to be a challenge to pull all our different selves together.

    It isn’t just about family identities. There is the self that enjoys being able to offer something to the world, to bring skills and talents and experiences into the community. The self that wants to be praised, appreciated and valued for something other than making dinner and pairing socks.

    Which brings into the play the need for managing and juggling these different selves. Is one more important than the other? Do I hold more intrinsic value as a wife, mother, daughter or worker? The answer, I suspect, is that each is hugely valuable in its own right. But if we look at each area in isolation, we cannot gain an understanding of the whole.

    The other aspect of self that we all wrestle with is the internal self. The self that is proud, selfish, deceitful, bitter, broken, that feels like a failure. The self that fears that others wouldn’t accept us if they knew what we were ‘really’ like. This becomes especially hard when we are trying to be a witness, to point others to the light, to show them how God is at work in us.

    I am thankful for the reminder from Dietrich Bonhoffer that whoever we are, God knows, and we are His. It doesn’t instantly answer all the questions, but it does give us hope. He knows us and He has called us His.

    God, I thank you that when I am confused about who I am, about how you are using me, about my identity, you know me, you have chosen me and adopted me. Thank you for seeing each of my different selves and for loving the whole. Amen

    Am I then really that which other men tell of? Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
    Dietrich Boenhoffer

    Written by an Interserve Partner serving in the Arab World

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