When you know who you are, you accept and understand your thoughts, feelings, behaviours, relationships, and life purpose on a deeper level. You have focus and show confidence, clarity, and creativity in whatever you do.
Our personal history reveals our identity. Both nature and nurture play an integral part of the formation and development of our identity. So our IQ, EQ (emotional intelligence), RQ (relational intelligence), and SQ (spiritual intelligence) are continuously impacted by our …
- Ethnic heritage/family of origins.
- Genetic factors and natural disposition.
- Social & cultural influences.
- Relational and emotional temperament.
- Educational and vocational experiences.
- Spiritual and faith orientation.
No matter what life-stage we are in, we all bring along our own backgrounds, experiences, assumptions, and perspectives wherever we go, whatever we think, feel, do, and say.
Chaim Potok writes, “Everything has a past … If you don’t know the past, you can’t understand the present and plan properly for the future.”
However, from a Christian perspective, there is no place for “that’s-the-way-I-am” deterministic posture or any defeatist mindset. If one does not handle the past wisely, our identity can be distorted; either an incorrect sense of superiority or inferiority can damage our spirits, stunt our growth, generate relational friction, and cause disharmony. While it’s true that no one’s history is useless, we must acknowledge, admit, and assess our past in order to live wisely.
Paul writes, Rom. 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind …3 Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. (NIV)