The Vivid Contrast of “I AM”

A vivid contrast inspires today’s word-of-the-week…


popeye(Okay, it’s two words, but it’s also God’s name so it counts.)

Has anyone (maybe you) ever said, “Hey, that’s just who I am”?

In Exodus 3, Moses asks God for some ID. In response, God essentially says His identity is self-evident.

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14)

“I AM” is quite a claim. Among other things, it implies permanence, existence beyond circumstance, independence, and completeness. “I AM” sounds like a riddle, but in fact it’s God’s way of setting Himself apart. “I AM” is a name and a description appropriate only for God.

Several decades ago, a famous cartoon character offered a similar claim in his theme song:

I’m Popeye the Sailor Man, I’m Popeye the Sailor Man, I yam what’s I yam, And that’s all what’s I am, I’m Popeye the Sailor Man

Popeye’s bold declaration, “I yam what I yam,” reflects the tough, independent American spirit. This is who I am—take it or leave it.

You see the conflict, right?

“I am who I am” is God’s line. He’s the only one who gets to claim permanent, self-evident, independent identity.

Maybe we should let God be I AM. Let’s let go of “that’s just who I am” and ask “who can I become to serve the people around me?”

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