Identity Crisis, Finding the Elusive “I”

James H. Cagle

The Bible (KJV) says, “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.  I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.” (Ps. 119: 59, 60) KJV

“Know thyself” the philosopher said.

Everyone goes through an identity crisis, seeking to discover themselves until they get saved, and then they identify with Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, the host of angels in glory, the innumerable saints, a mansion in heaven, and their name in the Lamb’s book of life.

There is an “I” about each of us that we love and yet may not think so highly of. We may be full of self-love and yet have no self-respect. We may love who we are but hate what we are.

We search for the “I” of our being, for the “Me,” “My Self,” and “I,” but cannot find him. We cannot reach inside our selves and pull the “I” out and then point to it and say, “There I am.”

We all are born with an “I.” We are all either lost and dead in trespasses and sin or we are saved and made alive in Christ Jesus. We as individuals can say that “I” am dead or “I” am alive spiritually speaking.

Who “I” am was determined by God, but what “I” am is determined by “Me,” as “I” use the gifts and talents given to me by God and the power of self-determination to reach my set goals. Who “I” am will never change, but what “I” am will because my identity is fluid and is made through choices “I” make. “I” make my choices and my choices make me.

The “I” of our being cannot be found and yet it exists, for “I” make choices and “I” am aware and conscious of my experiences and what “I” say, think, feel, and do.

Many philosophers call the “I” a “nothing” because to them it is seen as nothing more than a point of view. But the “I” must be an entity, for it exercises the power that makes the choices that make our life and what we are. Where would we be without “I?”

Just because we cannot touch, hold, feel, and separate from the rest of our being this elusive “I” doesn’t mean “I” doesn’t exist.

The “I” is the spirit of man that only God can touch. If the “I” is lost, it will be self-centered and make sinful choices that lead it to destruction. If the “I” is saved it will be Christ-centered and make holy choices that lead it to blessedness.

It is “I” that is master of our being and uses the brain to articulate and the body as its servant to animate into the physical realm its will.

The “I” is real because “I” along with all the little “I’s” and big “I’s” will stand before God and be judged for what “I” did. The body is not judged for its actions and the life it lived. The “I” or the spiritual part of our being is judge for how it used the body, or the physical part of our being. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done (“I” did), whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5: 10). By this judgment God’s saying “I” am what “I” think, do, and say. Our reward will be great or small based on how “I” used the body to do the will of God.

The “I” lives forever, in either Heaven or Hell. Who I am doesn’t matter, because God saves “whosoever will” but what “I” am in Christ and what “I” will be, and where “I” will be throughout all eternity is what matters.

Looking For “I”

Today I did a personal search,
Looking for the one known as “I.”
I did the search with “me” and “my,”
To find my selfhood that’s called “I.”
I searched the length and breadth,
The depth and height of my being,
All my multi-faceted self,
But “I’s” existence I’m not seeing.
I know for certain “I” am there,
But where “I” am is hard to say,
I still can’t say, there “I” am,
Till “I” is caught and held at bay.
“I” am there though, this is certain,
‘Cause “I” is making those hard choices.
And “I” am conscious and aware,
And remember all my experiences.
“I” is making me what I am,
Though who I am will never change.
“I” is the master of my being,
And has power to make me change.
“I” is there though man can’t find him,
“I” is the one making my life.
“I” shares abroad his peace and gladness,
Or shares abroad his hate and strife.
We can’t find the “I” we love,
And that we think so highly of.
We can’t call “I” out, and give him praise,
Nor put a crown on his head thereof
“I” is the essence of our being,
And our works the fruit thereof.
Its character is made of the things it hates,
And of the things it loves.
For the “I” is our spiritual man,
And he is either saved or lost.
Our “I” is either dead or alive,
Through what we’ve done with Christ on the cross.
“I” is there for he’s held accountable,
By God, for all the things he’s done.
What he articulated with his brain,
And the life he animated under the sun.
We cannot find the “I” we are,
But “I” is what we think, say, and do.
And “I” will be found forever one day,
Living in Heaven or Hell, this is true.
James H. Cagle

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