By Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew
I was recently on a web show and the host said, “Tell us who you are.” It is easy to share your name and your professional title but when someone wants you to really delve into who you are, we often have to think about it. Even in creating social media profiles with limited characters, we have a really difficult time deciding what part of our identities we would like to share with others.
Moses wanted to know how to share God’s identity with those he encountered but he was not sure of what to tell others. 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.[a] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ In Hebrew, the translation states, “I am who I am” or “I will become what I choose to become.” God’s identity is not focused in the past tense. Depending on the translation, it is in the present and a continuation into the future. God is ever present not attached to anything. He is just “I AM.”
Think about it. “I am” is a powerful, present focused statement and what we attach to it is just as powerful. During the Civil Rights Movement, men marched with signs that stated, I am a man. This was an exclamation of their identity that was not recognized in their treatment. Affirmations are a way to declare a person’s possibilities and purpose. Individuals like Louise Hay wrote books and recorded videos encouraging the audience to tap into the power of connecting “I am” to words like powerful, smart, and beautiful. Affirmations are important but I see this a bit differently—it is connecting the power of who God is to what we say about ourselves. Everyday, we speak words over ourselves and others.
When we say things like I am stupid, dumb, or less than, we are combining the sacredness within ourselves with the less than—less than what we were created to be. 1 John 4:4 NLT says, “You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” God’s Spirit that lives in us is greater and when we combine the “I AM” with a descriptor of anything less, I wonder if we are diminishing the greatness within ourselves. Think about this. Genesis 1:27 states, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
If we are created in the image of God and God’s Spirit lives within us, then it is imperative that we are intentional in the way we see ourselves and others. This does not mean that we are God, but it does require us to understand the responsibility we have in the way we view ourselves especially in the present and future. We cannot change the past, but we can commit to understanding the power that God has placed in each of us. It is what we choose to do with that power, and it begins in our understanding of what God says about us and what we say about ourselves. Proverbs 18:21 (GNT) states, “What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words.”
What are you saying about yourself? Are you speaking life or death over your life and possibilities? Do you understand who you are and whose you are? Just as we feel it is important to know your family history and identity, I believe the same is true for our spiritual identity. A famous philosopher said, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” If God spoke life into existence and you are created in the image of the Creator, be mindful of what you are speaking into existence daily. There are real consequences beyond just the words. You will become what you choose to become.
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the author of three books and has recently launched the podcast, The Tapestry. Dr. Froswa’s Tapestry is about bringing people together to explore the rich, woven textures of our narratives. Our stories are impactful and in listening to the stories of others, we learn more about our own power, claim our purpose and pursue our passion. The fabric of our lives as women is strong, resilient and when we come together, we can make a beautiful piece of work to inspire, support and sustain our personal and professional lives. Visit https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-tapestry_1 to listen. Learn more about Dr. Froswa’ at https://drfroswa.com/.