Posts tagged ‘Faith ‘

Who am I?

I have been exploring and discussing this concept of “identity” in a variety of different venues and for different reasons over the past several months, and it has been an interesting and irritating process.
It is certainly an important thing for a person to consider – and I am not for a minute suggesting otherwise. I typically enjoy “processes” and learning and exploring concepts and definitions. I find that it helps me broaden my understanding and opens my mind to fresh ideas and opportunities. I am also better with details than big picture thinking, so it is with some surprise that I find myself “tired” of the process and wanting to look at the concept of identity from farther away. But sometimes I wonder if we don’t get so focused on the specifics that we miss the wonder and awe of the larger picture. And I ponder how we can preserve one while exploring the other – because they are both important and serve us in different ways. I could go on and on, but the point of this post is just to answer this question as succinctly as I can:

Who am I?

 I am someone who has chosen to accept the gift. Beyond that, who I am as a child of God is an identity that has been given to me. It is not something I have developed or have chosen to take on myself.

If you are a Christian, I invite you to just sit with that for a minute – re-read it if you like.

If you have read this post and are not a Christian, you may not have a clue what I mean. So let me explain – by gift – I mean the gift of salvation which is offered by God to all. The Bible says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son (Jesus) that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16) and also that “If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) – Once we accept this gift we become children of God and enjoy a new identity which includes being forgiven, greatly loved, holy, blameless, alive in Christ, victorious, a light, redeemed, … and much more. These qualities, traits, and truths are given to us as God’s children.

(For a great list with scripture verse references, see:!/who-i-am-in-christ)

1 comment March 22, 2014


Many of you will be familiar with this hymn if you grew up in any type of semi-traditional church experience.  I love hymns, and miss having them as a regular part of worship each Sunday.  This is a familiar one to me, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, I will include the lyrics throughout this post.   

 V1                  I must tell Jesus all of my trials,

                        I cannot bear these burdens alone.

                        In my distress He kindly will help me,

                        He ever loves and cares for His own.

 There are many reasons that I love hymns, but the number one reason is the lyrics.  I find them to be challenging, heartfelt, emotional, and eloquent.  If I happen to know the “story” behind a hymn and why it was written, my response is often heightened.  I wonder, “Could I write words such as these in the midst of a crisis or trauma in my life?”   “Do I know this Jesus that the hymn writer knows?” Hymns are a reminder of my Saviour, and His great love for me.  They often share a picture of the interaction of another believer (the songwriter) with our Father and as such I also find them deeply relational. 

 Chorus         I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!

                        I cannot bear my burdens alone;

                        I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!

                        Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

 The “thing” I’ve been pondering in this particular hymn is a word in the very first line.  “Must”  It doesn’t say I “should” or I “could” or I “might” tell Jesus.  It says I MUST – I am compelled to, I don’t have a choice in the matter.  The definition of “must” is: to be obliged to, it expresses necessity or insistence.  So, my question is – do I ever feel that way?  That I MUST tell Jesus something?  Is He my first inclination when things are not going well, or even when they are? The words of the hymn continue to go on and explain why the author MUST tell Jesus all of his trials – the reason being that it’s Jesus who is a kind, compassionate friend who will help His children if we ask and who ever loves and cares for us.  Do you believe this?  I have experienced this in my own life, BUT I can’t say that when an obstacle strikes my automatic response is to hit my knees.  I usually HAVE to tell someone, but it’s not usually my Saviour who’s first on the list. 

 V2                I must tell Jesus all of my troubles,

                        He is a kind, compassionate friend;

                        If I but ask Him He will deliver,

                        Make of my troubles quickly an end.

 I want to be like the author of this hymn – to know to the deepest core of my being that Jesus is MY kind, compassionate friend.  That He will love and care for me as He has promised in His word, and shown throughout my life.  I want the first cry of my heart to be to Him – no matter what the situation.  What about you?  Do you want to practice this with me?  I believe that as we study the Bible and learn more about Christ, we can choose to trust more and more that what He says is true.  As we deepen this relationship our response to life’s troubles will be to turn to Him first.  Let’s start today.  What MUST you tell Jesus right now?

 V3                 Tempted and tried I need a great Saviour,

                        One who can help my burdens to bear;

                        I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus:

                        He all my cares and sorrows will share.

 V4                 O how the world to evil allures me!

                        O how my heart is tempted to sin!

                        I must tell Jesus, and He will help me

                        Over the world the vict’ry to win.

“I Must Tell Jesus”  by Elisha A. Hoffman, 1893

P.S.  Alex did not know this hymn as he was “proofing” my post and asked me to sing it for him.  Then he made an outrageous suggestion… so if you’d like to hear how the hymn goes (and me ending in a different key than I started) feel free to listen to the mp3 by clicking this link.      I Must Tell Jesus

8 comments September 25, 2011


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