There’s a newish song on the radio by Unspoken called “Who you are.” It’s one of my favorites because aside from the catchy melody, the lyrics really make you think. The gist of it is that you can change who you are no matter how far out there you’ve gotten. Of course, this is the type of message that has been sung by followers of God since Abram got a syllable added to his name. So, why does it matter?
As Christians, we get kind of a contrasting message, here. As the cliche goes, a leopard can’t change its spots. We are taught that nature and nurture each play a crucial part in determining who we become. And to a degree, that’s true. But if that’s the case, then how on earth can you change who you are? If he created you that way in the first place, why would God want to change you, anyway?
Changing who you are doesn’t mean entirely reworking the framework of your brain. It means redirecting those attributes towards a higher purpose. Think about it this way. You may be a passionate person, the type who dives headfirst into everything you deem worthy of your time. These are your personality traits, part of what makes you, you. Now depending on what you value, this could mean you’re quickly climbing the ladder of success in your chosen profession. It could also mean that you’ll do anything to reach the top including completely destroying anyone that stands in your way. Or compromising your morals. And just like that, your strong personality trait can get you into a lot of trouble.
If our own inclinations were all there was, then there would be no hope for us! The thing is, if you’re a Christian, then those personality traits that could very well lead you to destruction can be used as a powerful force for God. All the sudden, that passionate intensity isn’t yours anymore. It doesn’t matter what your inclinations are, because your talents are God’s and God’s alone. It means that God needs what you uniquely have to offer. In essence, it changes your identity.
1 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!”
God gave you your personality and your talents for a reason. If you let go of your selfish inclinations, and allow him access to your gifts, you will be amazed at the crazy things he’ll do in your life.
If this topic interests you, check out my book, The Shepherds of Oldaem: Identity which follows 6 characters struggling to discover who they are.