There is a joke/urban legend (often touted as truth) that has circulated the Internet for years. While there are many versions, the story found on Snopes basically goes like this:
“An award should go to the airline gate agent who was both smart and funny when making her point with an irate passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo. A crowded flight had been canceled. A single agent was working feverishly to rebook a long line of inconvenienced travelers.
Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way from the rear of the line to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said, “I HAVE to be on this flight and my seat HAS to be FIRST CLASS!”
The agent replied, “I’m sorry sir. I’ll try to help you as soon as I finish with these folks; I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out.” The passenger was unimpressed and not to be calmed. He asked loudly so that all around could hear, “Do you have any idea who I am?!”
Never missing a beat, the gate agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone:
“May I have your attention please.” Her voice bellowed throughout the terminal. “We have a passenger here at the gate who does not know who he is. If anyone can help him find his identify, please come to Gate 12.”
Understandably, his fellow passengers erupted into laughter and the man was outraged and embarrassed.
It’s important to know:
- who you are.
- who people think you are.
- Whose you are!
Look at Luke 9:18-20 (NET)
18 Once when Jesus was praying by himself, and his disciples were nearby, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 They answered, “John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others that one of the prophets of long ago has risen.” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
Jesus’ question and Peter’s answer are both important. Jesus knew who He was, but He is questioning His disciples to see if they fully understand who He is. And Peter answered correctly! How did Peter know when others had so many different responses – John the Baptist, Elijah, a prophet? Peter had walked with Jesus, and every day Jesus showed Peter who He was.
Who do people say that you are? And, what makes them respond as they do? What are you telling people every day? I had a colleague that used to remind me every morning that I might be the only Jesus that someone would see. I’m afraid that some days I showed them “temple-cleansing Jesus” (Matthew 21). What qualities and characteristics should we show? There are many. Search the Scriptures and ask God to search your heart (Psalm 139:23-24) to see what message you are sending. Love? Patience? Gentleness? Self-Control? Humility? Faithfulness? Something else?
And “if there be any hurtful way” in you, ask the Lord to help you redefine yourself as you remember that our most powerful testimony and witness is who we are every day.