During our short lives the question that guides much of our behavior is: ‘Who are we?’ Although we may seldom pose that question in a formal way, we live it very concretely in our day-to-day decisions.
The three answers that we generally live—not necessarily give—are: ‘We are what we do, we are what others say about us and we are what we have,’ or in other words: ‘We are our success, we are our popularity, we are our power.’
Jesus came to announce to us that an identity based on success, popularity and power is a false identity—an illusion. Loudly and clearly he says: ‘You are not what the world makes you; but you are children of God.’
Henri Nouwen, from Here and Now: Living in the Spirit