Recently, it seems that God has challenged me to ask and answer one question: Who am I? As I enter my last year of seminary, this question often occupies my mind. It is a question of identity, one which could be answered either superficially or deeply. Superficially, I am Benji Davis, a Christian, a husband, a student, an America, a son, a brother and the list could go on. Deeply, I feel like an incongruity, an inharmonious being desperately seeking harmony at the profoundest level. God has been teaching me that the seemingly contradictory nature of who I am as I know it is actually a conflict between two identities: one genuine and the other false.
My genuine identity is Jesus! I have actually been and am crucified as he was crucified. I have actually been and am buried as he was buried. I have actually been and will be raised as he was raised. I am a manifestation of God (1 Jn 4:12) as he is the manifestation of God (Jn 1:18). I am a living exegesis of Jesus and the narrative of his incarnation, life, death and resurrection. However, I am not always in harmony with this very real identity that cannot be taken away or removed.
My false identity is seen in the struggle between who I am in Christ and his narrative and who competing narratives or idols would have me become. Many narratives in the world seek to shape who I am. At times, I am fooled by their sugar-coated deceptions and at other times, I desire to have another piece of their candy. However, these narratives will ultimately lead to cavity and decay. They promise so much, yet deliver so little.
In differing ways, God is showing me that in order for me to become more and more who I am in Christ, I must remember and meditate, live and imitate Jesus and his narrative. I must turn against the tide of replaying and conforming to false narratives because God has called and placed me to remember, conform to and live in the narrative of Jesus. Romans 12:2 captures this thought: Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.