by Chip Ingram
“Who do you think you are?
This is not an easy question for most us to answer. But it is a question that we’re all unconsciously asking, and it’s one that we will grapple with all the days of our lives.
That’s because most of us struggle with seeing ourselves accurately. Some of us don’t know who we are and, if the truth is known, we might admit that we don’t like who we are either. Then there are some of us who see ourselves as better than others, and there are some of us who struggle with feeling inadequate, constantly seeking the approval of others.
I’m convinced that the extent to which we’re able to accurately see ourselves affects not only our relationships but also the contentment in our lives. And as Christians, this is even more important.
In order to discover God’s unique purpose for each of our lives, we must learn how to see ourselves for who we really are — not who we want to be or who we think we are.
This question is not a new one. In fact, the Apostle Paul addresses this very issue in his letter to the Romans. He instructed them to first get an accurate self-assessment. He wrote, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.” (Romans 12:3)
Having “sober judgment” means that we see ourselves neither too highly or too lowly. It also means we need to know both our strengths and weaknesses. It requires taking an honest look at how our family backgrounds, environment, significant others, personalities, and values shape the ways we think about ourselves.
Remember Moses? He had quite the journey trying to figure out who he was. We read in Exodus 2-4 that over the course of Moses’ life he had to come to terms with his warped view of himself – first it was too high and then it was too low. When God called him to lead God’s people out of slavery in Egypt, he put up quite a protest and begged God not to send him.
But God knew Moses was the perfect person for the job. He used Moses’ desires to help the Israelites, as well as his background, education and all of his experiences growing up in Pharaoh’s house as the needed preparation to fulfill His divine design for Moses’ life.
So how can we begin to come to grips with our true self? Here are a few ways to get started:
- Ask God to help you recognize the warped mirrors of the world that have helped shape an inaccurate view of yourself.
- Get God’s view of yourself through reading His word. Focus on the passages that specifically talk about how God sees you as his beloved son/daughter.
- Talk to others. Ask one or two trusted friends to help you see yourself the way they see you.
- Discover your primary spiritual gift.
- Celebrate daily that you are unique, loved, accepted and being prepared to fulfill your divine assignment.
Remember, no one can give a more accurate view of your life than God. You’re His tapestry — a work of art! God created you uniquely. There is no one else in the universe with DNA like yours. And He wants to use everything in your past and all of who you are in the present to accomplish His divine assignment for your life! “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph 2:10)
It’s my hope and prayer that as you embark on this journey, you will experience the fullness of God’s love for you and recognize His calling on each of your life.
Keep Pressing Ahead,
Chip Ingram’s passion is to help Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, coach and teacher for more than twenty-five years, Chip has helped people around the world break out of spiritual ruts and live out God’s purpose for their lives. Today Chip serves as senior pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California, and president of Living on the Edge – an international teaching and discipleship ministry.