Can You Identify?

You are here

Can You Identify?

Login or Create an Account

With a account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up


"Argentine Stolen at Birth, Now 32, Learns Identity" read the headline. The story, now a few months old, touched me. It read like a novel: political corruption, mass murder, kidnapping and deceit.

Identical pursuits

In January of 1977 Abel Madariaga witnessed his pregnant wife's abduction by the government authorities. Powerless to stop it and to avoid abduction himself, he fled the country. He never saw or heard from his wife again.

From that moment he devoted his life to finding not only his own son but also the potentially hundreds of other children who had also been so violently stolen. In 1983 he successfully lobbied with the reformed government to establish a DNA database for any individuals who chose to seek their true identities.

Meanwhile, after 32 years of never feeling like he truly belonged in the family he was raised in from less than two weeks old, Alejandro Ramiro Gallo finally asked his mother where he came from. Many tears and explanations later, Alejandro learned the truth: He had been kidnapped by the political faction in power at the time, brought home by a military officer, and raised in a family subjected to an abusive and deceitful father figure.

Upon taking the blood test to confirm his identity, Alejandro finally learned his new name: Francisco Madariaga Quintela, the name that had been given to him by his true parents. "Never again," said Francisco Madariaga in reference to using his old name. "To have your identity is the most beautiful thing there is."

Reuniting with his true father, he stated, "For the first time, I know who I was. Who I am."

Identity crisis

Although several spiritual lessons apply from such a moving story, I was struck by one in particular: identity. Not knowing who you are can be frightening, unsettling and disheartening, but knowing who you are is a powerful thing!

It's certainly important to know your strengths, aptitudes and the individualism that makes you unique. In fact, I recommend taking a good aptitude or personality test administered by a qualified counselor or adviser.

But if you're reading this, there is likely one aspect about yourself of which you are already firmly aware: You are a Christian.

Fundamentally, that term identifies you as a follower of Jesus Christ. Logically then, if you're not following Christ, then you cannot be identified as Christian.

Jesus illuminated this concept in differentiating between true and false prophets: "Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:20). In other words, an individual's actions say everything about him or her.

Identification required

As I reflected on that verse and its scriptural context, I found it disturbing. I wondered how often my own attitudes and actions had reflected unchristian behavior. It led me to a detailed study of a harmony of the Gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), a study I highly recommend for anyone desiring to learn more about Jesus' teachings, His life and example.

Agreed, it's a substantial amount of material. But as Christians, we should be both knowledgeable of and committed to what Jesus taught. It will also help you know His true identity—for more information about that, read "Jesus Christ: Victim of Stolen Identity" in the latest issue of Vertical Thought.

The Gospel accounts are replete with examples of faith, mercy, hope and active belief. They are a powerful testimony of the life of Jesus Christ. Now that's an identity to associate with! VT

You might also be interested in...