This might be a question we have asked ourselves. In a quiet moment, alone with our thoughts. Maybe in a crowded place watching others. At some point we have had this conversation. How did it go? Was it a compilation of achievements? Was it a stroll through significant memories that shaped you? Perhaps it was a slideshow of all your faults and mistakes. Here are some things that do not define us.
We are not our jobs. That thing that we do to pay the bills is not who we are. It is among the first questions we ask new people we meet. It becomes the information that others use to pigeon hole us, but it is not who we are.
We are not our hobbies. Those things that occupy much of our free time and devotion. Others look at us and say he/she is a painter, sculptor artist, hunter, fisher, and the list goes on. More information used to help put us in a comfortable spot in the minds of others. Yet, we are not our hobbies.
We are not the sum of life’s circumstances. I happened to be born on a certain continent. In a certain nation. With a certain skin tone. Into a certain family. In a certain economic status. I am not what life has thrown at me. While I may use those as part of my identity, I also may choose to absorb the cultural norms that are associated with those items. They are still not who I am.
We are not the sum of all our achievements. There are those that have a mental and/or physical trophy hall. They walk through it from time to time to remind themselves. Trophies earned, accolades received, plaques that have been presented all out on display. Look at me! But still, that is not who we are.
Others might have a darker hall. One where they keep all the failures. All the mistakes. All the times they have been berated, reprimanded, chastised are on display. Ready to be played again. To remind them that they are the sum of their failures. These failures hang around the neck. Little do they know, that is not who they are.
We are not even this body that we are in. We are a consciousness (mind/soul). We interact with the created world through the body that we were born into. God has given us the free will to choose how to respond to Him. Will we obey? Will we live within the parameters set for the body that we were given? If we rebel and are disobedient, we choose to use this higher form for a baser purpose. If we look at identity as the world does, we limit the beauty of what God has made us to be. God has shown us a way to live and identify ourselves. Anything else is lesser and base in comparison.