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'I yam what I yam'

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By Dr. Andy and Renie Bowman

Remember the old TV cartoon “Popeye the Sailor Man?” He had a favorite saying: “I yam what I yam and dat’s all I yam.” And poor old Olive Oyl could never get him to see himself any other way. 

A popular song put out in the last few years made me remember Popeye and how wrong he was.  

The lyrics have a repeating line in the chorus: “I am who I am because the I AM tells me who I am.”
Word salad? Not at all. Broken down, that one sentence says so much about you. Those seven little words are saying who you truly are, who created you for His purpose, and how and why you exist.

“I am who I am....”  You are not just the weird little result of Mom’s ‘romp in the hay.’ There’s no one else, nor has there ever been, anyone in the world exactly like you. A unique combination of certain gifts and talents was put into only you. Creating a special and God-given drive within that is hard to deny. For example, ever seen a disappointed mother arguing with her wannabe-professional-singer son that he needed to become a lawyer? One of them walked away disgruntled. Hope it was the mom. 

“...because the I AM…”   Just who in the world is this great I AM, and what gives that dude the right to say who you are? Well, the Bible says He is your Creator and He calls himself I AM, so I would guess that gives The Dude that right. After all, if you were the One who has always been, always will be, and the creator who spoke everything into being – then you would certainly have the right to do exactly as you please.

“…tells me who I am.” That very I AM says that you are wonderful and lovable in His sight. That you were worth letting His son die to pay the penalty for your sins. In a nutshell, that should tell you just who you are…somebody special indeed.

But a popular piece of garbage says that you were just a blob of cells until you popped out of Mom. That only at birth did you become human, with the ability to learn, think, and to experience emotions. Then and only then did you begin the journey into who you are now. 

But according to your Bible, from the very beginning of Mom’s pregnancy the Creator made the you that looks back in the mirror each morning. The you that He wanted in this world. Then life experiences began happening, and you developed personality warts on that perfect you.

So, remember who you are when the going gets rough and it is so tempting to get down on yourself. Underneath the anger, the anxiety, the depression, the hopelessness, and all your rough edges, there is the Real You. Keep digging. Because you’re worth it.

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••• Publisher's note: A free press is critical to having well-informed voters and citizens. While some news organizations opt for paid websites or costly paywalls, The Highland County Press has maintained a free newspaper and website for the last 25 years for our community. If you would like to contribute to this service, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be made to: The Highland County Press, P.O. Box 849, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. Please include "for website" on the memo line.

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