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    “See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    « Is a Controlling, Manipulative, Passive-Aggressive Christian an Oxymoron? | On Contemplative Prayer: The Modern Trend of Revisiting Ancient Practices »
    Wednesday
    Apr062011

    Who I Am vs. Who I Choose to Be

    “Who am I?” is a timeless, classic question of humanity. Related are the queries, “What am I doing here?” “What is my life’s purpose?”

     

    In the entertainment industry, when a character figures out “who they are” it is a joyous celebration, but one possibly fraught with persecution and challenge in order to fully embrace themselves. But there is a problem.

     

    Not necessarily with asking the question, but in trying to answer it. With God, He tells us who we are and what our purpose in life is. Without God, we determine who we are. On the surface, the idea of deciding our own fate sounds very rugged, individualistic, and admirable.

     

    The idea of simply submitting to whatever comes our way seems fatalistic and banal. That is not the stuff of heroes.

     

    Is it important to know what your talents and gifts are? Sure, but not as imperative as the world makes us think. People have many different talents, and are capable of learning a wide variety of skills. 

     

    The question “Who am I?” in modern terms seems to actually mean “what is my personality?” “What do I like?” “what do I want?” These have some validity, but are not nearly so profound. In fact, answering these questions and using them to define “Who am I?” can lead to some scary conclusions.

     

    “Just kind of like whenever anybody upsets me. Like I just kind of want to tear them apart… I think it’s not ever going to go away… It’s just who I am.”

    That’s the confession of 8-year-old Aidan from Lakewood, CO. And on February 22, he tore a classroom apart in his attempt to tear his teachers apart. In fact, he apparently got so wild, he fashioned himself a weapon out of the wood trim and was trying to “stab” teachers. He also threw chairs and a TV. When police arrived on scene to diffuse the situation, they pepper sprayed the second-grader

    (The Blaze, ‘YOU FU**ERS!’ WILD CO 8-YEAR-OLD PEPPER SPRAYED AT SCHOOL AFTER OUTBURST, 4/6/11 http://www.theblaze.com/stories/you-fuers-wild-co-8-year-old-pepper-sprayed-at-school-after-outburst/)

     

    The matter of free will, and personal choice is left out of the modern “who am I” equation, because decisions have consequences. If you are simply living out who you are/how you were made, there can be or should zero consequences.

     

    You couldn’t help it, it’s just the way you are. This thought process is convenient and easy in the short term, but this mindset is hopeless. It means we cannot rise above situations (which is heroism), it means we are bound to how we see ourselves/who we are.

     

    Math has always been a challenge for me. My brain, just has a harder time with numbers than say, writing J. But I am stubborn enough to have met math head-on in extra study and courses and did well, instead of dismissing the issue by claiming, I can’t do math because it’s just not “me”. This excuse also creates stagnation. “Who am I” is actually a fluid concept. It changes over time as people change.

     

    Personal choices and how we decide to live our lives is much more important than what color we like. In fact, personal choices help us define who we are. I have chosen to be a Christian.

     

    I have decided to follow Jesus; therefore I study His word, and change my life to match it. Now I am a Christian with all the responsibilities and privileges. I have decided to marry, therefore I am now a spouse with all the responsibilities and privileges.

     

    My husband and I have had children, therefore we are parents with all the responsibilities and privileges. We have decided to adopt animals, therefore we are pet-owners with all the responsibilities and privileges. The same could be said for ownership of bicycles, cars, homes, etc. etc. The decisions we make shape a large part of who we are.

     

    At a certain age, we consciously choose what beliefs we will embrace, and what responsibilities we will undertake. A big part of the problem is we want all the privileges with little to no responsibility.  

     

    Some things happen outside our ability to choose. Tragedies, illness, abuse, and poverty are circumstances we do not necessarily choose (Necessarily because some chosen actions like taking drugs, drinking excessively, gambling, sex outside of marriage, doing poorly in school, refusing to get a job, etc. lead to hard circumstances).

     

    Still, we have a choice in how we choose to respond to those outside circumstances. Our choices reflect who we are, who we’ve chosen to be.

     

    Everyone has been gifted in certain, diverse abilities. As long as I can remember I have always loved reading, research, and learning. I have always loved children and animals and natural places.

     

    Recently, I have chosen to learn more about cooking and nutrition which has lead to dramatic differences in the way our family now eats. I have decided to explore gardening, sewing, and home maintenance more as well. These decisions change “who I am” or rather “who I was” over the course of time.  

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