One of my most influential teachers used to say there were two great questions in life that need answers. These were theological questions, but (in his opinion) covered all the necessary territory of life. The questions were:
- Is there a God?
- If so, what kind of God is he?
Of course, the second question assumes that the answer to the first is “Yes.” The central pursuit of theology, then, is determining the nature of God and, after that, understanding how we fit in to the picture. For Evangelicals, this means diligent study of Scripture as well as the practice of prayer and ministry.
I recently read a blog that took a similar approach to my old teacher, posing the two most important questions of life, but ended up with two different ones:
- Who is God?
- Who am I?
This combines my teacher’s questions into one, then turns attention inward to self.
I’m not quite sure what to make of this. I don’t want to dismiss this as simply symptomatic of the narcissism that is pervasive in our culture just now. “Who am I?” is a perplexing and vital question that haunts many millennials today. This is serious business, because unsatisfactory and inadequate answers seem to result in self-destructive behavior and a despair that leads to depression and even suicide.
I believe, however, that the only reliable and final answer to question 2 comes from answers to question 1.
Who am I?
I am created by God as a physical and spiritual being. I reflect the image of God and therefore I am capable of a relationship with my Creator. I have damaged this relationship because of rebellion, but God allows for a way of reconciliation and restoration. My identity is not found in my self, but in God and my relationship to him.
If I am created in the image of God, I will learn more about my true nature as I learn more about God. I will learn what God intended me to be and to become.
Just some thoughts.
Nebraska Christian College