Who are you? Before we blurt out the answer, do we consider first who asked us this question? We are who we are. If we try to be somebody else we are in trouble.
The story of Jacob and Esau in the Old Testament is such a troubling story. Jacob and Esau were twins. Their parents were Rebekah and Isaac, and they each preferred one of the children over the other. Rebekah was fond of Jacob while Isaac was fond of Esau. Esau was born first, and it seems that didn’t sit well with either Esau or Jacob. Jacob wanted to be the firstborn. Esau on the other hand just wanted to be Isaac’s son. Why did it matter so much that Esau was born first? Everything seemed to hinge on that birthright. Esau was tired and sick of this. He despised his birthright while Jacob desired it. On his deathbed their father Isaac asked both of his boys a simple question: Who are you? Turns out, the question is not so simple after all. It took a lifetime for Esau and Jacob to come up with the right answer.
How children turn out has a lot to do with their parents. Through preferential treatment, Rebekah and Isaac unwittingly caused a serious rift in their family. Later in life, Esau and Jacob were able to come to terms and make peace with each other. In order to do that they both had some growing up to do by owning up to their mistakes.
This is no novel revelation; this is as old as mankind. I call it rite of passage the moment a kid owns up to a mistake. A boy becomes a man and a girl becomes a woman that way. We no longer hide behind our parents’ faults or anybody else’s faults for that matter. We believe we are responsible and humbly accept the consequences. We are who we are. Or to put it in God’s words: I am who I am.
We have a lifetime to learn two things: understand who we are and be who we are.
What if you are who you are and you get rejected? It hurts more profoundly when you put your heart out there and people walk all over it. That’s what happens, but still, this is the way to go. Rather have a bleeding heart than living a lie. God is not pretentious. He is who He is. We can learn from Him. We can also hide under His wings, especially when we are bleeding.
It’s a golden moment in time when we first realize that God loves us. Accepting God’s love has a lot to do with accepting ourselves.
God loves you. And by the way: that’s who you are!