There are some really big questions out there.
In every area of expertise there are people who sit around and discuss these questions. Science is discovering that it knows less and less about the origins of the universe and all that this entails as it asks more and more questions.
Questions are everywhere. Most conversations we have are questions. Even going to the store involves questions.
“How are you?”
Will that be everything for you today?”
We use questions to be polite but we could ask questions to discover things about each other. Good questions cut through the superficial judgments we make every day.
We also judge people by the way we look. Our clothes seem to speak loudly to each other.
When I wear a suit and have my hair perfect and walk into a room carrying a briefcase, I am treated much differently than when I wear my regular clothes or my work clothes. There’s a saying that clothes make the man. They certainly make the image of the man.
Then there is physical appearance. Taller men are seen as leaders more than shorter men. Overweight women get less attention than thin women. Young looking people get less respect than those who look a bit older.
What about race and culture? If I was in a predominantly black country I would be treated differently only because I am white. In some cases, I would not be given jobs or granted access to certain resources. In Canada and the Untied States this is turned around. People of color are treated differently than white people. I’ve witnessed this first hand at emergency rooms and overhearing conversations in my home town.
Questions help us to know each other. But in today’s culture of anger, it is dangerous to ask questions. So how will I get beyond the old don’t trust people that are different form me if I can’t find out who they are?
And perhaps the biggest question is Who are you?
An even harder one to answer, is Who am I?
Go ahead, try it. Who are you? Our first response is to say what we do or who we are in relation to our roles. I am a Pastor. I am a husband, father, and grandfather. These are things that I do and roles that I do. It is not who I am. This is why some people have such a difficult time with changes like retirement. Their identity is based on what they did for a job. After that is over, they struggle with who they are. Many take up hobbies. Some go back into the workforce. Others struggle. But there are those who relish retirement. Perhaps they know who they are.
Do you know who you are?
It has taken me a long time to know who I am.
I am a child of God, a member of His royal family. No matter what I do or where I go, that is my identity. Now this is way different than the label of Christian. Christian is what I believe and it is how I live. But people can believe they are Christians and they can even live as if they are Christians. The question is not what do they do or what they believe. The question, the one big question, is who you are. What is your identity? It is asked about your inner being.
It is really tough to separate self from actions. Yet our true identity, when we are stripped of performance labels, expectations, and roles, is what will one day be standing before the throne of God. If we are judged on any of these things, we may pass human standards, but God’s heaven is a perfect place. We are not perfect so we would be turned away. No one is perfect all the time in all they do.
When we are standing before the throne of the One who sees our inner being it will be just our inner being and God. And the big question He will ask is Who are you?
At that point, you’re only hope is if you are a child of God. Only God is perfect and only the sacrifice of Jesus and belief in his salvation will make us perfect so we can enter the perfection of heaven.
The big question then, and the big question now, is the same.
Who are you?
Andy Becker is a retired counsellor and author of The Travelers, a fictionalized account of spiritual warfare (available on Amazon) as is, Stupid Thyroid, a book he co-wrote with his wife, Stella. Andy and his wife, Stella, lead Lighthouse Ministry in North Central Regina, one of Canada’s poorest and roughest areas. He is a retired counselor, speaker, and writer. Andy Becker is working on his second book about spiritual warfare. His first book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.