January 06, 2009

Who Am I?

Genesis 1

God created man in his own image …male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27


Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in a poem written in a concentration camp, asks the haunting question Who am I? Fellow believers outside those prison walls were celebrating Bonhoeffer’s spiritual endurance. But, sitting behind bars, he felt like a bird caught in a cage, weak and powerless. What was he, really?

The question of identity has always haunted us humans. Are we great and powerful beings—virtual gods and goddesses who stride the face of the earth? Or are we merely creatures that occupy the highest rung on the ladder of the animal kingdom?

“Who am I?” Bonhoeffer says the answer begins with a realization that he belongs to the God who made him. We cannot understand ourselves apart from God, for we bear God’s image. We are not gods and goddesses who fell from the heavens. Nor did we emerge from some primordial ooze without purpose or meaning. We are God’s imagebearers. Like our Maker, we are able to reason, love, make moral judgments, and enter into relationship with God and with others around us.

Equipped in these ways, we can fulfill our call to serve as God’s representatives on this planet, unfolding the amazing potential of this world for the sake of God’s glory. That we have been given this calling is our glory. Let’s not betray our Lord in this amazing mission!

Lord, forgive us for seeking our identity and self-worth in anything but our relationship with you. Give us a sense of satisfaction as we fulfill our true calling in this world. Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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