Who Am I?
I have been haunted by this question for most of my life. Am I the person I believe people think I am? Am I the person I want them to believe I am? Or am I the person God created me to be?
When trying to project the person I wanted others to see, I was always left in the valley between their image and the one I was trying to project. I was never good enough. I was always anxious. I was a bundle of raw nerves. Insecurities drove my actions.
Then, I was introduced to Jesus. The more I got to know Him, the more I believed He is the creator God He claims to be. He promises us His peace, which I had never felt before. I began to understand what He meant when He said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Jn. 14:27. I could never find His peace when trying to be someone else instead of the one He created me capable of becoming. He has a plan and a purpose for each of us: to become a member of His family. A family who are in love with each other. Once I understood this, the opinions others espoused grew less important each day. And, the person He calls me to be, grows ever more important. This is how I have learned that I can do nothing permanent when I try to be someone other than the person He created me to be, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." Jn. 15:5. When I am not abiding in Him, I can never have the absolute security that removes fear and produces the calm of the peace and joy He freely offers.
Why do we care so much about what others think of us? "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." Gal. 1:10. When others see we care about God because He cares about us, they yearn for His love, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." 1 Pet. 5:7, because God created us to do His good works, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Eph.2:10. It is the only way to true peace and joy, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Jn. 14:6. We can experience His peace and joy for eternity. Alternatively, we endlessly run from one high to the next low and back again. Always anxious, always fearful, for we have no savior.