(N.B.: After writing this, I realize it bears a similarity to this blog post from 7+ years ago (https://nerdylenses.com/2014/08/23/a-heartfelt-mind-meld-who-are-you/). However, I believes these to be two sides of the same coin. The below speaks more generally to one’s moral character while the prior post spoke more to one’s identity in Jesus. With that, I hope you enjoy both posts for their unique takes.)
When I was younger, the original Robocop movie came out. While I cannot say that it was a great movie (too much gore), it had a number of great qualities, but one of the most memorable lines, for me, is when Robocop confronts one of Murphy’s murderers at a gas station. Robocop is starting to experience Murphy’s memories, and he vaguely recalls this guy, but he doesn’ t know who he is. So, he says, in a very robotic fashion, “Who ARE you?!”
That question has become a hidden guidepost to my life. Who am I? Who do I want to be? And who am I intent on not being?
Even this blog, if you’ve read through it, shows that I wasn’t always who I am today. Sure, the basic foundation and the subtle lines are there, but if I were a house, the house you see today sits on the ruins of a much more fragile and unstable house that fell years ago. Yet, the questions remain: who am I and who will I be?
Truth be told, I’d love to be the guy who has time to relax, to chisel his abs, to “enjoy the good life.” But my life has not afforded me such opportunities. So, I have to make choices, and those choices are directed by my character.
Over the years, there have been different phrases for it: work-ethic, lifestyle, ethics, values, even morals. But character is made up of all those things, in truth. And ultimately, character is powered by our Creator. Without Jesus, I cannot make consistently good choices. I may make a few ones, but most will be selfish or self-motivated. Even if I play that I’m doing it for others, I’m doing it to make myself feel good/better.
Within Jesus, the Christ/Messiah, I am empowered to step outside myself and make the choices that sometimes suck! Choosing to endure pain because I trust that Jesus’ plan is better than mine, even though I don’t see the payoff yet. Taking an action when the final outcome is unsure. Losing out on an opportunity I wanted because my child needs to experience discipline. Or even choosing to show my child grace, taking the consequence on myself rather than letting it fall on them (a limited case, to be sure). These are all things which Jesus enables me to do, to step outside my selfish, sin-sick self and be moved by His Spirit to do.
So, dear Reader, who will you be? Who are you? Will you step up to the challenge of working hard for your employer or building your business with integrity? Will you sacrifice so that others might enjoy? Will you raise children who do the same? And above it all, will you follow Jesus, accepting His sacrifice and His light yoke while casting your cares on Him, into the unknowns?
Every time I hear The Who’s famous song “Who Are You?”, I am reminded to find my identity in Jesus, and let my character flow from the example He has set (and many supporting examples in the Bible, as well).
Godspeed, as you seek and serve Him, with renewed purpose and perhaps renewed character!