Jesus’ self-talk

Thoughts on John 8:21-30

You had been making some stupefying comments and the crowds were seeking some clarity. For instance, earlier you invited some to follow you, now you are saying where you’re going they couldn’t follow. “Who are you?” they earnestly asked. Your answer, true to your character, “I’m who I told you I was from the beginning. I have not changed. I am sent by the Father to love the world into redemption.”

A lot of what you explained about yourself went over their heads. huh? what?  But you said it anyway so it could be recorded for posterity. AND (this is one reason I love the scriptures, because I see myself in every sentence) you said it aloud to remind yourself of who you were and what you were about. You used “self-talk” to help keep yourself on track.

Boy do I need such “talk.” I often forget who I am and what I’ll called to do and be. It helps to speak it aloud, keeping it on the front burner lest I lose sight of my goal.

Debby, who are  you? I am God’s chosen daughter, precious and pleasing. I am one who wakes each morning to hear God’s voice of love and shares it with the world around me. I am a treasure in the field that God purchased with his own blood, sweat and tears. I am broken, a screw-up, yet beloved and beautiful. I am sent by God and the Holy Spirit never leaves me, for I do what is pleasing to the Father; and what pleases the Father is acknowledging my love and utter dependence upon God’s mercy and grace.

Thank you and amen.

My friends, I ask, Who are you?

Begin with the end in mind

In our series of important questions, we’ve considered “Who is God?” Let’s move on to an equally important question: “Who am I?”

We know ourselves by such things as what we do, the way we look, or the relationships we are in. If I were to name a few essential things that describe who I am, the list would include:

  • I am an introvert (edging on recluse)
  • I am playful (enjoy silliness, games, childlike pursuits)
  • I love God (not perfectly, though)
  • I doubt my value (keeps me quiet and invisible)
  • I’m a woman, married, well-educated (and other external identifiers)

You could make your own list and reading it would help me know you better. But are these qualities, characteristics and interests what define you? I’m not the first to realize there is more to who we are than what we do. Thomas Merton, in No Man is an Island says,

We must find our real selves not in the froth stirred up by the impact of our being upon the beings around us, but in our own soul which is the principle of all our acts.

When you ask “Who am I?” you touch the essence of the human experience. The answer to the question reveals the unique you, who was created by God, for God’s delight and God’s intention.

God created you to belong to God, to know yourself as God’s beloved; and from this solid sense of self, to allow your unique personhood to become a means of expressing God’s character and God’s good will toward the entire world.

In Rev. 7 there is a description of the end for which you were made:

‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ These are they who have come out of the great ordeal. 

The ordeal you face is the lifelong struggle of putting off the old, false self with all it’s sin-based, ego-driven needs and habits and putting on the new self, the one God has named “my beloved and pleasing child.” Emerging victorious from this struggle is accomplished by faithfully clinging to Jesus and being deaf to any voice but God’s. The evil one would clothe you in shame and accusations. God clothes you in a white robe, the robe of acceptance and purity. Hold this truth foremost as you fight the good fight. Because:

For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

As it has been said, begin with the end in mind. Today, you are in God’s presence. Can you feel the shelter of God’s love and power? Right now, let God satisfy your hunger, quench your thirst, and keep you safe. In this very moment, Jesus, your good shepherd, cares for you and takes you to the source of life. At this hour, God knows your pain and sorrow, let God comfort and console you.

Let these truths define who you are.

With you on the journey,


This is part of a series entitled  The New Old, a look at familiar things God wants to make new. It begins here.