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I often think of the passage in the gospels where Jesus asks, “Who do people say that I am?”

The disciples reported to Jesus all the opinions they’d heard about him.

Then Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am?”

I find this passage fascinating. Even though I believe the gospels are largely a mythological branding of a messianic figure, it still conveys a ton of meaning to me.

Sure, this may be the writer’s attempt to categorize the man and plant him firmly in the messianic hopes and expectations of the day. But… is Jesus being portrayed as, early in his life, a person seeking his identity and his role in this world? Does this convey the struggle of a man trying to figure out what he is about and how he should live his life? Is this about a person considering feedback, keeping the good and rejecting the rest, in order to live the life he feels called to live and is passionate about fulfilling?

All of us experience the same struggle. We wonder what people think about us. We hear affirmations and accusations come flooding in that attempt to define us.

What do we do with it?

I think it’s important to get in touch with what we are about. What moves us? What compels us? What motivates us? What are we passionate about? What are we here for?

Getting feedback can be helpful, but it can also be harmful.

Labels will fly at us from all directions, including from those closest to us.

In the end, we have to decide for ourselves!

Who am I?

Then we have to find the courage to live what we know to be true about ourselves.