That girl that gets up at 9pm and goes out into the streets to prostitute herself, sleeping with man after man just so she can earn some change. The guy who breaks into house after house, shop after shop, robbing people of their precious valuables. The repeat sex offender who lurks around in the dark alleys seeking who to violate. That 21 year old guy who dropped out of school after repeating 1st year in the university, not once, not twice, not 3 times but 5 times. The guy whose daily routine cannot begin without his daily prescription of weed or that your neighbor that buys the latest cars every now and then but you still don’t know where he works and all the people other people I cannot mention but you all know them (yes, the ones we’ve have all written off. The ones you don’t want your children or any of your relations for that matter to be associated with).
So what do this people have in common, you might say, they’ve had rough childhoods, they underwent great psychological trauma, they were abused as children, they’ve all made bad decisions in life, they’re people of low character or self-esteem. Whatever actually comes to mind, note this; they’ve all been called a name: “Whore or as we say in Naija, Ashawo”, “Thief”, “Rapist”, “Failure”, “Low-life” “Riff-Raff”, “Scum”, “Alcoholic”, “Conman or simply 419”. *Ps, if there’s 1 thing I’ve learnt, is that people are very talented in the name-giving business*
Anyway believe it or not, At some point in their life, they’ve all asked themselves the question: “Who Am I?”
The question “Who am I?” is a question of Identity. It is a question to which the answer is a multitude of things. Sadly enough, it is the one question, that majority of us have failed to rightfully answer. To answer the question of identity can be likened to finding definition, finding meaning in your life. The identity of a being is the totality of that being. The identity of a being is the answer to many questions. Questions like “Who am I?”, “Where am I from?”, “What is my purpose?”. However for today, we’re only dealing with thE first question. If I just met you, i might not even ask you “where you’re from?” cause lets face it, if I know who you are, I know where you’re from.
Now if I just met you for the first time and I asked you who you were, you’d probably be like: My names are *Insert Name, Surname and other names*, then for those of you who daily fail jamb questions, you’ll now go ahead to now add what you do for a living *Insert Job Title* and sometimes even you age and nationality *Insert Nationality*. Lets be honest if I started questioning your identity, most of you will probably give me your full life history and even extra self. Now the tricky and very interesting bit is the part where I ask you about another person. What people don’t realise is that what they say about themselves says a bit of them, but what they say about others says a multitude not about the subject but about them.
All the people aforementioned have all gotten confused at a point in time and have let the people of this world to define their identity. So the question still remains who are you? You are not what people say you are, you are a spirit that lives in a body and has a soul. In genesis, the word said we were made in Gods image and likeness. You are the image of God, the same God that created the heavens and the earth. You’re not of this world and as such, nothing and no one not even you yourself can tell you who you really are. You’re who the word says you’re not who the world says you’re.
If you wait for the world to define you, the world will define you based on its standards and weaknesses: Fat, short, skinny, anorexic and all the other unpleasant words I used earlier. Lets cite some examples; The world sees you as a Sickler but the word says by his stripes, you were healed. The world may laugh and scorn and call you broke but the word says, my God shall supply all your needs, infact in another scripture he says even the nations of the world shall call you blessed, people may call you dumb but the word says the memory of the righteous is blessed, you may have been called a failure, but the word says whatsoever you lay your hands upon, it shall prosper. If you do not know who you are or what the word says about you, you’ll live a very underachieving life *If you don’t believe me, ask the illegitimate children of the rich and wealthy*.
As believers, we’ve been saved to save others. When we see people who the society has deemed worthless and otherwise, our jobs as believers is to open their eyes and show them who they are. Show them the love of God. Let them see who they’re meant to be. A wise man *Mofi* once said, “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, but I’d rather look through the eyes of Jehovah”, look at them through the eyes of love. There’s nobody on this planet that doesn’t or rather will not succumb to love, “The Goodness of God leads us to repentance” Romans 2:4. As you step out each day, look in the mirror and say I am Gods workmanship and I chose to see not the best but the Jesus in everyone.
Till Next Time
Ochuko A. Akpomudjere