Moses was one of the most educated people in his generation. He was educated as the future leader of the most powerful nation on earth. He had been raised as the son of the world’s most powerful man and was groomed to rule. Consequently, he understood not only the political, economic, scientific, and social dynamics of his day, but he also understood the accepted contemporary spiritual practices. He knew and had worshipped the gods of Egypt. He understood God, or so he thought.
After committing murder and abandoning his relationships and responsibilities, he lived in exile in the desert for forty years. During this time, God met with him and identified himself as “I AM WHO I AM.” If we in the modern age wanted to say the same thing, we would say, “I am who I am, and you have to accept me as I am.” In order to fully grasp this encounter, we have to hear God speaking to Moses with some attitude in his voice; ” Are you humble yet? Stop thinking you know who I am and what I’m like. You don’t know me, and neither do those who say they know me, what I do and do not do. They think they know me and can represent me, but they misrepresent me and don’t know me as well as they think they do. I am who I am. Let me speak for myself and represent myself.”
I know the problems that develop when others presume to represent someone else. In the 2006 scandal that shook my world, I resigned, repented, confessed, and submitted. Consequently, it allowed others to speak for me without consulting me or knowing actual facts. As a result, the web is filled with distortions, misrepresenting my actions, personality, motivations, and relationships. Building on false presuppositions, many have taken broad liberties with my story without reading my books, listening to my sermons, or meeting with me. As a result, they have come to flawed conclusions. When someone tries to determine my belief systems by reading skewed reports on the web, they are deeply mistaken. Everyone should have the liberty to represent themselves. I think God doesn’t appreciate being misrepresented and wants to represent himself to each of us as well.
So for us to understand him, we have to be willing to accept that God is who he is, whether we like him or not, and whether we like what he does . . . or doesn’t do. He enters into a relationship with us just the way we are. Then the authenticity and dynamic of that relationship improves our lives. But for that relationship to be legitimate, our response to Christ’s call must be, “and I am who I am.” Then and only then can there be the beginning of a trust-saturated bond that can change our lives.
Every child has to dismiss fantasies about their parents in order to actually meet them. Every spouse has to realize that dating their spouse provided an incomplete picture, and as the years pass, they actually meet one another. It’s through the acceptance of each other that we achieve authentic relationship. We need to stop the pretense and be honest about who we are so we can have authentic relationships in order to grow. With authenticity we can proactively learn how to invest in each other’s success, have the courage to identify with one another and the wisdom to encourage one another in the most difficult situations.
To know Christ, we must accept that he is who he is. Christ is always faithful, and he never leaves us in our worst or best days. He is who he is–always faithful. And we, being who we are, can respond to his faithfulness. As Christ’s family here on the earth, we have to be willing to invest in one another in the midst of the realities of our strengths and weaknesses, good days and bad days, successes and failures.
I like that Christ accepted me, just the way I am. So in return, I accept Christ, just the way he is.
Pastor Ted Haggard, DD, CHBC, is a Bible teacher with an emphasis on New Testament solutions to the human condition. His Bible teaching is informed by biblical scholarship, Choice Theory (Glasser), Attachment Theory (Johnson), and Behavioral Studies using DISC (Rohm).
This and other blogs by Pastor Ted Haggard are available at http://www.tedhaggardblog.com as a ministry of St. James Church. If you would like to strengthen the ministry of St. James Church and Pastor Ted Haggard by giving, please use the “give” tab at http://www.saintjameschurch.com.
4 replies on “I AM WHO I AM”
It should be safe in the church to be authinic. However often it is not. It takes time and perservance to find trust. I find that most people do not know how or do not want to do whats nessary to trust. The sad news is that I know this and still find it difficult. Its just easyer and feels safer to be superficial.
Good article Ted, I have always respected your heart and your ablity to communicate clearly life impacting ideas.
Prerfect…. Couldn’t have said it better brother.
Well spoken Mr. Haggard! I respect you as a true follower of Jesus Christ. You, sir, are one of God’s trophies of Grace as are all who truly know they NEED a Savior. I am proud of you as a brother in Christ, keep going forward.
I agree that good authentic family relationships are very important, however, as Ambassadors for Christ we have done a woeful job and we are now seeing the results of it. The world has influenced Christianity much more than Christianity has influenced the world! The solution? Learn how to be “authentic” Ambassadors for Christ and at least do the works that Jesus did while he was on the earth.