Have you ever pondered, “Who am I, really?”

Like jigsaw puzzles, pieces of us are borrowed from people we admire—our heroes, teachers and role models. Some pieces are inherited from our parents, for better or worse. Other pieces we painstakingly forge for ourselves from the steel of experience.

All the pieces fit together to form the person our Creator intended us to be. Now we just have to figure out who that person is and how they can best further God’s kingdom.

“I have become all things to all people so that … I might save some,” – (1 Corinthians 9:22, NIV).

It’s tricky, because like the Apostle Paul, who penned this verse and appears to have grappled with authenticity just like we do, we tend to be chameleons. When we’re with one group of people, we act a certain way; with another group we behave differently.

Now, personality morphing for the sake of the Gospel isn’t a bad thing, it just makes finding the real ‘you’ more challenging. And the person you think you are is not usually the person others see.

Our private selves don’t always match our public personas.

I’ve come to realize it’s not our public actions that make us who we are in Christ. Not the ability to speak eloquently, pray artfully or sing like a nightingale. Not leading a Bible study or evangelizing thousands or volunteering in the church nursery for 30 weeks in a row.

We might appear like a towering cedar of Lebanon but have a shallow root system that yields to the next stiff wind. We can all name faith leaders who’ve toppled.

It’s our roots that count, not the leaves on our branches.

Who we are in private produces who we are in public, encompassing integrity, commitment, the ‘realness’ of our worship and the genuine depth of our personal relationship with Christ.

I want to be the real deal, don’t you?

So the next time we look in the mirror and ask, “Who am I, really?”, we’ll see the reflection of Jesus.

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Debora M. Coty is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of over 40 books, including including the best-selling Too Blessed to Be Stressed series. Visit Debora at www.DeboraCoty.com