Who Before What

Young man showing his driver license

“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” — John 10:14

I wonder how far you would get if you tried to board a plane but instead of showing your identification, you give them your resume? How long will it take to convince the gate keeper that you are qualified to enter the plane?

There can be much confusion when our walk with the Lord becomes based on our works instead of our identity, who we are in Christ. I can sometimes get distracted and find myself doing something that is uncharacteristic based on who I am in the Lord. I think it’s so important to remember that who I am is more important than what I do. “Who before What” is a process that helps me conduct myself and fulfill the call on my life. I’m not saying that every step I take is ordained by God, but the purpose of my life and the conduct of my character need to be under the power of the Holy Spirit.

I often marvel at when Jesus spoke openly to the Jews in John 10 that they didn’t immediately make the connection to the 23rd Psalm. Even if they we sheep gone astray, why didn’t they recognize His voice?

To know who I am in Christ gives me a security to act out in the confidence that as long as I’m doing the will of God, I’m safe. Safe doesn’t always look safe, but when I hear the call of the Master, He will lead me beside still waters even if I must go through the shadow of death first.

We as believers are certainly called to do good works, but if we don’t keep the order of ‘who we are’ before ‘what we do,’ we can sometimes find ourselves wandering too far from the Shepard’s voice. This is where the institution of repentance is useful, we always have the ability to turn around. When my conduct reflects the old nature, then I must be willing to humble myself, turn around, and recognize who I am. It’s not until my identity is clear that my actions line up.

I remember as a young boy, my Dad always reminded me not to do anything so bad that my name would be in the newspaper. To my Dad, that would bring a disgrace to the family name. There were times I would do something foolish and hear the question, “whose kid is that?” I think the same is true for our walk with the Lord. Our conduct should resemble our Shepard’s by lining up our actions according to our identity.

So, who are you and to whom do you belong? If someone inquired “Whose kid is that” are we known by our works?  Let’s hope it’s because we’re putting the “Who” before the “What.” Amen

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob Russomano is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.

The Daily Bible Reading: Proverbs 28 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here


Think About This: “If our identity is in our work, rather than Christ, success will go to our heads, and failure will go to our hearts.” – Tim Keller

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 106:1




2 thoughts on “Who Before What

  1. Gary Thorne Sr. says:

    Excellent analogy! It really brings the importance of our relationship with Christ to light as being the key incentive behind our words and deeds. Every aspect of our lives should mirror a close, loving relationship with our dear Lord Jesus!
    Thanks Rob!

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