This can be difficult to answer if you are looking in the wrong place. If you look within yourself at things like gifts, talents, experiences, successes and failures than who we are is an intricate assembly of parts that are ever-changing and makes it impossible to define. Are you a jock because you love sports? What if you enjoy the arts as well? If you make a lot of money does that make you successful? Are you a winner… a loser… a success… a failure… a survivor… are you all of that… or none of it? In fact, you can make your own definition of who you are based on your context and opinion. The problem is that if we decide for ourselves, then it becomes relative and there is no certainty. Who we are can change from day to day and gives us no foundation for dealing with challenges and storms in our lives.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
“You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, "He did not make me"; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?
From passages such as the ones above, the Bible teaches that we are creations of God. Even more than that, we were carefully and lovingly made by our Creator and our identity is found in Him. This is great news because these days there is so much pressure heaped on our shoulders to decide who and what we are that we can spend a lifetime trying to figure it out. People can waste so much time chasing ideals that they believe define who they are. Those ideals and goals become prizes for our efforts, but the thrill and feeling of accomplishment will pass leaving us alone to go and chase something else. Things such as money, status, education, and achievements are all carrots that we naturally desire because we think these things will give us an identity and sense of self-worth. The Bible says we are God’s workmanship, we are His and we belong to Him! We are blessed to have God reveal to us and recognize that we not only have an identity in Him, but also what His desire for us is.
Being a child of God means that we can follow our dreams and push ourselves to better things, but we do so knowing that God is with us and He is our strength and our hope. The prize we desire is not found here in the world, but we will receive it when we are in the presence of God in heaven. Money, status, education and achievements are not goals, rather they are tools that we can use for God’s glory, not ours.