I recently wrote an essay regarding this question for a final examination in school. Who am I? I am female, Chinese and Singaporean. Beyond the boxes I tick on registration forms, I have many other identities. These include being a student, daughter and sister.

In the past, my identity was very much rooted in the way people viewed me. I was concerned with whether I pleased my friends and if my teachers were impressed with what I did. I was caught up with doing things for everyone around me because I felt that if I stopped helping out, they would not like me as much. I became a yes girl.


Things started to change when I became a Christian. There was a term that was frequently used to identify ourselves: child of God. People used it so often that I started using it on others even before I understood the meaning behind it. But what did it really mean for me to be God’s child?

In the Bible, there are many people who were given new names after they encountered God. Saul became Paul, who dramatically went from a Christian-killing Roman to an important leader of the early church. Jacob became Israel, who went from a deceitful, self-serving young man to the Father of the Jewish nation (Genesis 35:10-11).

A new identity is birthed when one enters a relationship with God. The Gospel is transformative. In embracing our faith, the children of God turn from our old ways to a life of relying on the Him.


It took me a while to understand what it meant to have a new identity. Breaking out of yes girl mode was tough. I remained a yes girl in my initial years in church. I agreed to do anything and everything that was asked of me.

I knew that I did not have to please my church leaders because it only mattered if God was pleased with me. Moreover, God would rather I be Mary than Martha. Nonetheless, I still could not break the habit of being a people pleaser. I found it extremely difficult to translate my head knowledge to a changed lifestyle.

I no longer follow Man. I follow God now.

I realised couldn’t make that change on my own, or I would have done so long ago. The focus of a new identity is not in the fact that I can do more things, but rather God can work in and through me now (Philippians 4:13). The God who created the heavens and earth can do all things through me.

And when I shift my eyes from my struggling self to my God of wonders, I stop looking inward at what I cannot do and focus instead on what He can. I am freed from the clutches of people pleasing. I no longer follow Man. I follow God now.

To me, being God’s child means having Him hold my hand and working in all parts of my life. There is a shift in what my heart longs for and a freedom that stems from the knowledge that He always fights for me. He has already given me Jesus. What more can I ask for? He is the epitome of Love.