Who are you?
The typical answers to this question sound something like this: mother, student, techno geek, Christian, etc. Do these responses explain who you ARE? Or are they focused on what you DO and HAVE?
One of the tools I use to better answer this question is causality. The law of causality says for every effect there is a cause.
When this is applied to people, it translates as: what we ARE is a cause and the effect is what we DO. However, there is a second part to this cause and effect process that is equally important: what we DO is a cause and the effect is what we HAVE.
The world tells us the opposite. The world tells us what we HAVE will determine what we DO, and what we DO determines who we ARE. Isn’t this one of the equations behind advertising? “You need to HAVE this product so you can DO this thing and then people (or yourself) will believe you ARE a certain type of person.”
This worldly view is extremely short-term because it is trying to take the short cut of believing that effects prove causes. We see this when people lament their lack of money or possessions because it doesn’t allow them to be the person they were meant to be.
For example, I have seen numerous examples of people saying they need to offer the same workers more money so the workers will become better people. This is “Have, Do, Are”. This statement believes that having will cause people to be better. Their focus is on HAVE.
This is not what God tells us to focus on. God tells us to work on ourselves (ARE). Yet God tells us over and over again, in the Bible, to be profitable. The parable of the talents equates profitability with entry into heaven, while unprofitability is equated with hell. Furthermore, the Bible says (Psalm 35:27) God has pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. Isn’t this a focus on HAVE?
I call this the ARE. You can call it whatever you want...but the intent is to find out who God created you to be. Just like the words "Rapture" and "Trinity" aren't in the Bible, people still use those words to explain the Biblical concept. I use the word ARE to describe who God created you to be.
Next to the kingdom of Heaven, Jesus talked about money more often than any other topic. In all of Jesus’ discussions about money, he saw money as an effect, not a cause. Money was the result of specific actions.
Money is an objective measure in this physical world that cannot be faked in the Long Term. That is one reason some people hate money. Profitability is an effect of what we DO, which is an effect of what we ARE.
Jesus’ focus was constantly on the spiritual, that is, on the ARE. However, Jesus related to us on the physical level by talking about money. All of those discussions were meant to tell us there is an objective measure in the spiritual world that can’t be faked, just like money can’t be faked in the Long Term in this physical world.
Jesus said the spiritual treasures wouldn’t be trusted to those who couldn’t handle the less valuable physical treasure: money (Luke 16:11). Not because money in and of itself is important, but because it is an objective effect.
Remember, not all HAVING is physical (e.g., money). HAVING also involves emotional, mental, and spiritual value. In fact, a person with a spiritual view realizes these values are superior and cannot be bought with money.
Some people focus on HAVE in hopes they won’t have to be profitable any longer. They don’t want to continually grow. They want to be comfortable. Basically, these people are hoping they don’t have to DO anymore. DO can mean work, but DO is not confined to an occupation.
What people ARE does come out in what they DO. For example, if a person willingly commits illegal acts, they are ignoring what they ARE and trying to justify it by what they HAVE. This “worldly view” values this present physical existence as pre-eminent. This is not what God wants from us. He wants us to have a spiritual view where the ARE is pre-eminent. This is the process of being “born again”.
We are physical and spiritual beings. However, due to our physical birth, we give our physical beings pre-eminence over our spiritual beings. We see the DO and HAVE (flesh) as causes and the ARE (spirit) as the effect. Every “great mind” from the beginning of recorded history has stated that focusing on the physical will only lead to emptiness.
Jesus wants us to focus on the spiritual. He wants us to focus on the ARE. In order to emphasize the spirit, we have to de-emphasize the physical self. When a person is “born again”, they are making a conscious decision to kill “the flesh” in order to give the spirit pre-eminence. They are admitting the ARE is the cause and the DO and HAVE are effects…and living accordingly. Today, the only reason we are able to do this is because of Jesus' death on the cross.
God’s focus is on the “being”. God looks on the inside of the person. However, God motivates us by telling us the eventual result of “being” is HAVING. So a “born again” person doesn’t ignore the DO and HAVE. They just realize it is an effect of who they ARE. The ARE is the Spiritual self that God made us to be...it is God's purpose for your life.
In the post that explains WHY Jesus is Fully Man and Fully God, we saw that Jesus' ARE is Right and Just. The EFFECT of His ARE was a DO that was ALWAYS Right and ALWAYS Just. The DO did not MAKE Jesus God...His ARE makes Him God (because it is the same ARE as God the Father's from the "Model for God" post). The DO proves to US that He is God. Once Jesus died, He no longer had to deal with the fleshly nature and we can be assured that now He can ONLY operate COMPLETELY in His ARE.
Remember that effects may not result from just one cause. You can’t perfectly predict the “being” of another because of the HAVING. For instance, people can win the lottery. On the other hand, people can be experiencing a tough stretch on the outside because of growth on the inside. That’s because the majority of growth happens within the individual and is not visible to the spectators. Finally, people who HAVE the most materially are not necessarily the most “profitable” according to God.
I have found that people are unique. Each person takes in and gives out information in a specific way. When people operate apart from the way they are made, they have little energy and become depressed. When people believe they will never be able to operate they way they were made, they become suicidal.
Individuals tend to make friends with people who take in information similar to the way the individual was made to give out information and with people who give out information similar to the way the the individual was made to take in information.
The way the person was made is the ARE.
This ability to have profitable interactions with others appears random because the individual doesn't know the cause. However, when people determine who they ARE, they can intentionally choose to modify their behavior in order to be profitable with others. They can determine if the behavior they need to modify is against the way they were made (ARE) or not. Understanding who God made you to be allows you to intentionally become more profitable.
To continue the process of understanding who God made you to be (find your ARE) go to the Next Post