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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Who am I?

What value does self-image have in the life of a believer? Does it really matter who or what we think we are? Isn’t it just a bit self-centered to dwell on that? I think it certainly could be but I think our perception of ourselves is something we should constantly examine and be aware of. I would go so far as to say that maintaining a proper self-image is critical to maintaining a proper relationship with God and others.

It seems that the methods we use to gain a perspective of ourselves will have a great bearing on the outcome. We can ask ourselves the question, “Who am I compared to you?” or we could ask, “Who am I to you?” Perhaps even better we might ask, “Who am I to God in Christ?” At the very least I suspect we agree that our perspective should be relative concerning God and others but should we ever make a comparative assessment? Would you consider it wise to ask, “Who am I compared to who God wants me to be”?

I suppose there are many questions we must answer for ourselves in this life and I consider the first and foremost to be, “Who is God”. I believe that the answer to this is found only in Christ and I think we should constantly strive to know the answer by endeavoring to learn more of Him each day.

I guess the only other thing that I would really want to know is, “Who are you?” Only you can answer that. ;-)

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27 Comments:

Blogger jel said...

Morning KC!

I have asked myself , that Q? alot, just who am I? but I haven't got answer back let!
and it is getting late.

5/23/2007 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Janice, Corry says that you're a really sweet caring person and I tend to agree. Maybe that's you being who God intends for you to be?
;-)

5/23/2007 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous rrbj said...

KC I are who I are because I started being who I am back when I started listening to my favorite uncles and aunts Dad and Mom and grandparents that thought I almost was not worth the trouble to invest the time involved to put me on the right road but for the Grace of God they didn't let me down ? I are me, a very grateful man who appreciates the blessings of my Lord and Savior and all the christian freinds in blogspere and those I can fellowship with that are around me ! I are me and my plans are to be who I are the rest of my days on earth ? I suppose that I are who I are because God planned for me to be who I are ? TO GOD BE THE GLORY? Blessings. Ron.

5/23/2007 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

I don't know )c:

I am starting to see glimpses of who I am as time continues to grow between myself and my youth.

I do believe that everything I am is who God intended for me to be today and what I do is often a whole 'nother story!

5/24/2007 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

I am at my worse when I am self evaluating. What I mean by that is my self image or how I view myself is so far from how God looks at me there is little point in self analyzing.

I know this because I know how bad my self view is and awful it was and how bad it can get. I praise the fact that God has helped me so much in this area that I can actually walk into a church. For the first 10-15 years after my acceptance of Christ I could not because I was sure I was so awful it would somehow spread like a disease.

That sounds ridiculous but it is the truth. It took me from birth to 19 years to choose Christ even though from the first memory I have I knew who God was I never had a doubt I just was sure I could not be part of the "good side" of anything.

It was not until my late 30's I could get baptized because I was so sure the walls of the church would crumble at my hypocrisy.


The only thing I have is His word and my faith. He promises I am worthy because of the Cross and I believe it with everything I am because without it I am only left without Him and that is something I don't even have a word to describe. My faith stays because He allows and because I get to look at the fruit and no matter how awful I think I am there are people in my life so wonderful that I can not imagine He would bless me with unless He loved me very much.

For some I guess asking themselves who they are in God is a check point of sorts but for me it's a Crucifixion point.

Who I am in God, someone He died for and I hope someone that He is pleased with. I am after His heart and I want to fall in love with Him every moment all I can do is have faith because I can not see through His eyes at myself.

Love now

5/24/2007 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

KC,
I'm glad you are asking the question... I've been wondering that about you since I met you in cyberspace more than a year ago... "who is KC???" :)

I hope you can figure it out. :)

BTW, I posted on my site today one you and Corry might be interested in. :)
Blessings

5/24/2007 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

I was raised to think I'm special. What a freakin' hassle that is.

When I figured out that I'm special, just like everybody else, I was set free from the pressure of living up to this arbitrary standard of performance that qualified me as a success. Now I can be successful on my own terms.

These days, I'm happy to just be a guy who loves the Lord, spends time with his family, and values his friendships...

...and is the Angel of Death, if you're a fish.

5/24/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Dorsey the fish slayer...to those in the water and to those stuck on the trunks of cars! LOL I like it.

I am who I am when my praise is from God(grace). I am not who I am and most miserable when look for and get my praise from this world system.
Romans 2:29

I know that can sound cheesey and full of religious jargon. But it is my hope and sanity.

5/25/2007 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger señor jefe said...

I've always wondered if self-image by itself (+ or -) doesn't really stand in the way of God's intent for Christianity.

For me, an effective self-image is one that sees myself in the scriptures. For instance, instead of seeing myself as a 'sinner' or weak or messed up, I see myself as an adopted child of God. And when he named me, He named me the "righteousness of God in Christ".

For me, that gives me hope, and makes the journey a more positive experience, since I'm focused on Christ & not myself.

Instead of focusing on me, I'm focused on Christ in me. And when I do think of myself, ideally I would like to think of all those scriptures in the epistles that tell me who I am "in Him" or "through him"... etc.

A self-image based on scripture leads to humility and peace, because it defers all praise and receives no condemnation.

5/25/2007 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

After salvation I think it is imperative that we have a good self image.

If I truly believe I am a new creation in Christ (as His word says); that He is conforming me into His likeness and image (as His word says); that He has put a new heart in me (as His word says); that He will begin the work that He has started (as His word says); & that it is He and He alone who finishes that good work (as His word says): then to not have a good self image would be a denial of who He says He is and an
affront on what Gods very Word
teaches.

Before salvation, and based on my efforts alone I could, or should, not have a good self image because I was lost, gone astray and there was not one good thing in me.

5/26/2007 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

It's very attractive to believe that I'm being conformed into His image when you're referring to the righteous, victorious King on the throne image.

It's a little more difficult to think of being conformed to the image of a God who emptied Himself of everything for everybody else. Not too many guys on TV preaching that.

5/26/2007 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Good thoughts, Dorsey.

Its kinda like John the Baptist doubting because he was in prison. He sent some of his guys to find out what was going on.

The Lord answered him, but it wasn't what he or any of us would expect. He said the blind see and the lame are healed.....but He never said that John would be getting out of prison soon, did He? In fact he got his head cut off.

5/26/2007 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

If we are to look at our fruit, the fruit God has given for what He enables us to do then we can see our path there.

Self image for me will never have a place that I can foresee on a path to fruit because self is my flesh and my flesh although changing is not anything good. God is good I am not. God working in me and through me is a decision of my mind and giving up my will to Him, my self.

That is why the battle is the mind because where the mind goes so does the body.

I think we can run the danger in this discussion of believing the old saying "you can't love anyone else until you love yourself" and that simply is not true.

Some of us will forever have a problem with ourselves, some of us will not. If however my issue with myself prevents me from being prideful then let it always be a struggle.

It is not hard to praise God when you have wealth and health, it is another when you are starving and sick. So maybe for some like me the acceptance that God does indeed love even though I think of myself as wretched and admit that may in fact be out of balance is a testament to the Faith He gives and love He shows.

I can say I no longer hate myself God showed me that was just as narcissistic as self love and self elevation. I can't hate myself and accept His creation of me. I can always be thirsty to be more like Him and in this body it is not gonna happen but not trying for me will lead to a false sense of thinking I am cool and I do not ever want to hear I never knew you.

Each one of us knows why we do what we do, a joyful heart in giving or one that does it cause we should, a kindness that desires nothing or a false kindness setting up for the future, A love for God or a show at church etc.
My wise old Pastor told me when I was at a dark time in this struggle that because of the events that lead up to who I am that God might heal and might not I might live forever with the struggle of self. But it does not change who God is, what God is or anything. My capacity to love is also my capacity to do harm, I know how much harm I can do, I know how massively I love. Understanding that this may be something I walk with my whole life allowed me to be able to love more instead of fighting what is not my fight.

For me I have to give everything that is me away everything and let God draw His picture of the image He wants me to have. I am not there yet but I am still walking the path and as much as my self hating ways would like me to believe it is not worth it I can not deny the fruit.

Love now

5/26/2007 01:58:00 PM  
Anonymous rrbj said...

Mrs Zeke you are a blessing to me and others if they will be still and listen ! Your words are inspiring and the line where you said " It is another when you are starving or sick "to praise God ? The first thing that came to my mind was an old saying " About the old hog getting fat eating acorns under the oak tree and never looking up to see where they are coming from " ! I thank my God everyday just for my needs , and I don't worry about tommorrow ? I think that so many as you said don't stop and think that God supplies our needs of everyones down to their jobs and their success in their lives ! Have a blessed Lords Day ! Ron.

5/26/2007 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger señor jefe said...

It is not hard to praise God when you have wealth and health, it is another when you are starving and sick.

I'm the exact opposite of this... not that I disagree, but that it hasn't worked for me this way.

Sure, it's easy to praise God when everything is going well. But it's even easier to forget to. The lack of necessity that comes with 'health & wealth' often leads to distractions & time away from God.

I find that when I'm 'starving & sick' is when I praise God/focus on Him the most. Those are the times I focus on God and consciously turn off the distractions. I guess hunger & pain are good motivators???

Still, it is in those difficult times that intently I'm listening for God to show me how He sees me. His ways and His thoughts are higher than ours. And He's constantly pulling us upward...

5/26/2007 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

KC, this is one of those questions I have given a light-hearted answer to, thought I was done with it, and then am haunted by it for days.

I think I know more about who I am not than who I am, in Christ.

I know I am no longer empty. I am not full, but by no means empty as I once was. I know I am not alone, and sometimes I miss being content with loneliness. I am less afraid for me and more afraid for others. I am no longer proud, (but I am not denying I can be prideful) and I am slowly losing patience with shame. I am confused that being a child of God, a sister of Christ, does not bring me complete happiness - but I do know joy. I am no longer a condemner, while self-righteousness will most likely always be my thorn.

There is much more, but I think you get the idea. In a sense, I am taking your question rhetorically even with my answers. It is causing more introspection than I have words for.

5/28/2007 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

Wow thanks Ron it means much that I can be a good sister in Christ to you. Your right we have what we need everyday :)

Jeff, what I often see though and it is certainly not universal and is a small sample, is when things are going good what I hear is "God is so Good" but when tragedy hits it often changes into "God take this from me" There is fasting and prayer . But why not have the same reaction when things are good? I can't say I am much better I just see it as maybe an issue of who we are....

you two are good men be loved

5/28/2007 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger señor jefe said...

Mrs. Z,

I agree. A lot of times we react that way. I think that's why I continually try to remind myself of who I am in Christ. If I can say "God is faithful" in good AND bad times, then it's about Him & not me.

(oh, and you're really loved as well)

5/28/2007 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brethren again I apologize for my absence in the discussion but your thoughts here have been provoking to say the least. I’ve been blessed by all of you, as always.

I gathered from the comments that we all tend to perceive ourselves in terms of the past, present and future and it seems that, for some, one of these aspects is given more weight in their evaluation than the others. For example some might consider past failures or successes as being more defining than future hopes or fears while others might be more prone to evaluate themselves in light of their present concerns or commitments.

I think Susan (Penless Thoughts) gave the definitive answer for what and why we are. Ontologically we are new creatures in Christ created for good works in Him. When coupled with Dorsey’s comment regarding what it means to be transformed into His image, I think “who” we are can then be determined by our faithfulness. When we submit to God in Christ then we are exactly who we were created to be and when we look at ourselves we should only see Christ. What better self-image could we have than this? If on the other hand when we are unfaithful we only reflect the old creature and I’m sure none of us would consider that an acceptable self-image.

I am persuaded that we need to judge our heart in all our actions and seek forgiveness as needed but I’m wondering if after that, instead of examining our own deeds (past, present and future) in order to define ourselves, we might do better to focus on our submission to God in what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do and use that perspective as the basis for forming our self-image.

As an aside would you think the knowledge of ourselves necessary to form that perspective can be gained through reason, revelation or both?

5/29/2007 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Hmm...are you asking about the general origin of self-awareness or are you thinking in terms of seeing our condition relative to God's perfection?

The former, not sure. The latter is revelatory, I think.

5/29/2007 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorse I'm thinking it might be more relative to God's plan for our perfection. We can't know who we will be when we have fully conformed to Christ' image, only God knows that, but we can know if we have been faithful to conform to what God has revealed of Him in us.

5/29/2007 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

KC, I can only say that I feel it to be revelation. I try over and over to reason through it, and fail every time - my reasoning always leads me to who am without Christ. It may be different for others.

This ability that you guys have to see yourself in Christ the way you do, does it come with maturity? In my first year as a disciple of Christ, I was obsessed with conforming to Christ in such a way that would have been the death of me, spiritually. Then spent a year in despair that it was simply impossible. Somewhere between now and then, I realized that God has purpose for me and He will provide for my maturity, and I try to do what is set before me today. It was also revealed to me that sometimes my struggle IS a purpose. But so often I still get caught up in being self-critical - in an unhealthy way.

What do you do to keep the right self-image as a believer?

Uhh, I guess that would be me asking HOW to gain it through reason? If it really is solely through revelation, I'll just have to wait! {c;

5/29/2007 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Missy I honestly feel so unworthy to offer any authoritative answer. So many of the things you offer here already seem indicative of maturity to me. You wrote, “I realized that God has purpose for me and He will provide for my maturity, and I try to do what is set before me today” and I think this is key. I so much would like to help with this, “But so often I still get caught up in being self-critical - in an unhealthy way”. Forgiveness is so essential to every relationship and must be accepted when it’s needed. I don’t want to offend or judge you in any way but is it possible that pride demands perfection from you? Do you perhaps consider that forgiveness must be earned?

5/29/2007 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

KC, thanks for your honesty. I am not offended with your insight. I agree with you: ”Forgiveness is so essential to every relationship and must be accepted when it’s needed.” I have a lot of difficulty with this because I do see myself as mature, but I have a tough time shirking some of my old thinking. I don’t know if I really believe forgiveness has to be earned. I easily forgive, and I know it is sincere when I do. I know of the forgiveness in Christ and counsel people through their struggles in it, and believe what I say to others sincerely. But when it comes to me, I guess you could call it pride of the self-centered kind. I see myself as darkness, and I want to believe that it’s unique. I have a hard time accepting forgiveness. I often tell my closest Christian friends that my sin of choice is perfectionism – they think I’m crazy! These are the things that obscure proper self-image for me.

It is frustrating because I know the truth, but what I feel is very different. Knowing doesn’t seem to help; it just makes it less bearable. I also know that God is the only one who can wash this “glaucoma” from my eyes, and I want to know why he hasn’t done it yet. That’s really my question, but I know no one can answer that.

5/29/2007 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Cinder said...

Hi Kc! I had just dropped by to see how things were, but I guess I'm going to have to come back on a day where I'm not so tired and read through this whole discussion. I wish I could answer who I am, but right now a lot of things are clouding the views.

5/29/2007 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

KC, I think I'm reasoning my way through a revelation. I blogged about it.

5/30/2007 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Missy you're a blessing. ;-)

Jay thanks so much. I'm sorry for not taking time to comment at your place more often but I am often blessed in your post. I hope you'll be refreshed soon dear sister. ;-)

6/01/2007 09:02:00 AM  

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