19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” (John 1:19-23, AMP)
What we say about ourselves, most times, if not always, carries more weight than what others say about us. But what we say about ourselves can be influenced greatly by persons we listen to the most, especially those who are important to us. As such what we say about ourselves can reflect internalized messages from others.
“Who are you? What do you say about yourself?” were two of the questions posed to John the Baptist, by those who want to know his identity. John’s response is exemplary. It was clear and completely based on what God spoke about him, through the prophets Isaiah and Malachi, hundreds of years before John’s birth. At some point, John’s purpose and, in it, his identity was revealed to him. This allowed him to clearly state who he was and who he was not.
“Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” Most individuals wrestle with these existential questions about identity and purpose at some point in life. “What do you say about yourself?” As it was for John the Baptist, the answers to our questions of identity and purpose are found in the words of God, our Creator, our Father. (Click here for examples of what He says about us). Any description of ourselves, anything we say (and believe) about ourselves that is not based on what He says about us needs revision, urgently. Immediately.
“What do you say about yourself?”