Who Are you?
We Aspire to Be
Who we are is more important than what we do.
This truth has become more evident to me over the past few years that I have served as the lead pastor of LakeView Church. Identity is more important than behavior. Now, I’m not saying that behavior doesn’t matter–quite the opposite!
Identity produces behavior. What I do is determined in large part by who I am, and who I perceive myself to be. This is why the ethic taught by Jesus in the famous Sermon on the Mount is focused on changing who we are at the heart level. It’s not just another behavior management program. If we become who God has called us to be, we will end up doing what God has called us to do. We should not measure the success of our lives by what we accomplish but by the kind of people we become.
This changes the way we set goals in life. For example, many people set goals like this: “I want to lose 15 pounds this year.” There’s nothing wrong with that goal. But, most people go on a diet to lose the weight, only to gain it all back when the diet plan ends. This is because we’ve only changed what we do—we haven’t changed who we are.
But what if we set a different goal? Instead of saying, “I want to lose 15 pounds,” what if we said, “I want to be the kind of person who weighs 15 pounds less than I weigh?” Now my target isn’t achieving weight loss but changing who I am. I’m not going on a diet. I’m changing my way of life.
Focusing on who we are and who we are becoming is particularly challenging in a world where we live in front of everyone on social media platforms. Very often, I struggle with being who I am vs. being who I think others want/expect/need me to be. As Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” It can be easy to play a part without actually changing who we are. But that’s just another form of behavior management. True transformation is less about behavior and more about identity.
A few years ago, the Overseers of LakeView Church wrote the following paragraph to describe what kind of people we believed God was calling our congregation to become.
Our aim is to be whole in Christ. We aspire to be both spiritually and emotionally healthy. We believe that we cannot become spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature. As a people we will be full of trust, love, respect, humility, transparency, and submission to Christ. We will work to minimize pride, insecurity, boasting, gossip, and other symptoms of emotional immaturity. We will find our identity and self-worth in the saving love of Christ, and will seek healing for the holes in our maturity.
Who are you? Who are you becoming? Are you becoming the kind of person you want to be for eternity?