It would seem that it is highly probable that John the Baptist ought to have an identity problem. The Jewish authorities cannot seem to come to an understanding as to his real identity. Is John Elijah? What about the Christ? Is he the Prophet? John denies ownership of all of these identities and claims the one that is his own – namely he is himself! He has been sent to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. This is who he is!

Are we as sure of our own identities? Do we know we know ourselves well enough to be able to state as clearly as John, what God’s will for us is in His plan of salvation? The other interesting point about John’s self knowledge is that he seems to be happy enough with who he is to the point that he does not feel the need to imitate someone else or even claim their identity for his own. This is the sign of a man who is not only comfortable with his own self understanding, but is secure enough in it not to have to look for the security of hiding behind an identity that is not his own.

This tendency to hide behind the identity of others is a major problem in our world today. I think it contributes a lot to the uncertainty and fragility of relationships in our society. A large number of people either do not know who they are or refuse to accept their God-given identity. This spells disaster not just for the individual, but also for all of those who try to get close to the person. If they do not know who they are, what hope does another person have of discovering their identity?

The challenge that each of us faces is to discover our true identity in Christ. Without this basic knowledge we will struggle to know what our role in his plan is, and also find it difficult to develop close relationships with others. A good self-image is so important when it comes to relating with others. John the Baptist is a great example to us of what it means to be secure in one’s own self understanding.

What is my self-image like? Am I happy with who I am and with what I am presently doing with my life? How can I improve my self-image by deepening my relationship and identity in Christ?

Holy Spirit, help me to open my life up to the truth of who I am. Help me to learn about and accept my identity in Christ and learn more fully what it is that He wants me to do for His Kingdom.