Posted April 17, 2019
This editorial is written by Rev. Jon Mahtani and will be published in the April 1, 2019 issue of the Standard Bearer.
Who Am I?
“…God, whose I am, and whom I serve.” Acts 27:23b.
“Who am I?” This is the second most important question to ask and answer. Now and throughout all of life, every morning when you awake, every night before you go to sleep, and before every decision you make between waking and sleeping, you should be answering this question of self-identity.1 But before asking ourselves this, we must be aware of the first most important question, which is “Who is God?” Catechism students studying the “Essentials of Reformed Doctrine” will recognize this if they remember the six loci of Reformed doctrine, the first being Theology, which answers this question. Let us be sure to start here. Begin with this question every day, for if you do not first know who God is, you will “mess up” the knowledge of who you are. Only in keeping that crucial knowledge of God’s identity in mind will one rightly answer the second most important question—number two of the six loci (Anthropology)—“Who am I?”
Even secular, modern psychology today recognizes the critical necessity of self-awareness. The world and its professional (and unprofessional) counselors say things such as, “He’s just trying to figure out who he is”; or “Give her a break. She’s still searching for what her identity is”; or “Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone else.” There is some truth to these claims. Major social and emotional problems arise when young people grow physically but lag in their knowledge of who they are. Self-identity affects your direction in life, your pursuits of higher education and occupation, major decisions about whom to date and marry, your confidence level, happiness, friendships, and overall behavior.
While the world and today’s psychologists realize the need to answer this crucial question, most have erroneous methods of finding an answer. To the question “Who am I?” the answer is often determined this way: “Whatever my feelings tell me.” The result is confusion. One extreme example of this is the LGBTQ movement. “Who am I? Man, Woman, or something else?” And the answer given is essentially, “You are what you feel.” Feeling autonomous, man foolishly imagines that he determines his own gender by his feelings.