I present a breakdown of the song “I know who I am” written and performed by Sinach. Lyrics obtained from Genius. The song lyrics are presented in bold with my thoughts occasionally following on the line below, in parentheses.

[Verse]
We are a chosen generation
(That’s 1 Peter 2:9-10)
We’ve been called forth to show His excellence
(if we’re quoting the verses right, we’ve been called to proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.)
All I require for life, God has given me
(That’s 2 Peter 2:2-4. But not so fast. That portion of scripture says Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The requirements for life are HINGED on the knowledge of Him who called us.)
And I know who I am
(Good for you.)
We are a chosen generation
(Repetition)
We’ve been called forth to show His excellence
(Why repeat the verse?)
All I require for life, God has given me
(Did you run out of lyrics?)
For I know who I am
(Did you run out of Biblical truths?)

[Chorus]
I know who God says I am, what He says I am
Where He says I’m at, I know who I am
(Good stuff, but is it just me or would anyone else like some specifics on who God says I am, What he says I am, and Where he says I’m at? I’ve had identity issues in the past and these lyrics didn’t leave me with any word of God to stand on. I sang them out hoping they’d somehow manifest. They didn’t.)
I know who God says I am, what He says I am
Where He says I’m at, I know who I am
(More repetition.)
I’m working in power, I’m working miracles
(What are you working in power? Even the devil has power. Some direction please?)
I live a life of favor, for I know who I am
(Do you live a life of favor as a result of knowing who you are? That’s odd.)
I’m working in power, I’m working miracles
I live a life of favor, for I know who I am
(More repetition. From here on out, the rest of the song is awash with copy-pasted on-repeat lyrics.)

[Interlude]

[Verse 2]
(A repetition of the first verse.)

[Chorus 2]
(A repetition of the first chorus, but understandable in the sense in which choruses work.)

[Post-Chorus]
Oh-ooh-oooh, oh-ooh, oh-ooh-oooh
I know who I am
(The thing I cannot figure out is how this song is supposed to help those who do not know who they are.)
Oh-ooh-oooh, oh-ooh, oh-ooh-oooh
I know who I am
(More repetition.)
Oh-ooh-oooh, oh-ooh, oh-ooh-oooh
I know who I am
(More repetition.)
Oh-ooh-oooh, oh-ooh, oh-ooh-oooh
I know who I am
(More repetition.)

[Bridge]
I am holy, and I am righteous oh-ooh…
(Holiness and Righteousness are imputed on us through the gracious working of the Spirit of the Lord when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 says Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him [Christ Jesus].)
I am so rich, and I am beautiful!…
(Rich with money or the divine blessing of Salvation? It is unclear. However, the next line “so beautiful” seems to suggest Sinach is talking physical things – wealth and beauty. What about the one that comes to this song with neither knowledge of who they are nor riches? What are they to do? What about the one that plays this song and they genuinely believed they were beautiful and rich before playing it? Do their beauty or riches mean they know who they are? Are beauty and riches a good yardstick for identity, particularly for Christians? I think not.)

[Chorus 3]
(Also a repetition of the first chorus.)

Take a look at me, I’m a wonder
(A wonder. I wonder what that means. Google says a wonder is a person or thing regarded as very good, remarkable, or effective. Does this attitude sound like humility? Romans 12:3 says For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.)
It doesn’t matter what you see now
(Well, here’s where it got a little lot confusing for me. In the previous line, you asked me to look at YOU, presumably because you ARE [not will be, or was] a person regarded as very good, remarkable, or effective. NOW, you’re telling me it doesn’t matter what I see, after you’ve asked me to see. Specifically, to see YOU. That’s the equivalent of saying “Take a look at me. I’m dark-skinned.” And following that up with “It doesn’t matter what complexion you find my skin is.”)
Can you see His glory?
(At this point, the song became painful. This is Sinach’s defense for saying “it doesn’t matter what you see now”. Because, apparently, we can see God’s glory nonetheless. If I were to put these three lines in one sentence, this would be it; “Take a look at me. I’m dark-skinned. It doesn’t matter if you find I’m light-skinned. I’m still a human being.” Here’s another one that might be more familiar; “Take a look at me, I don’t sin. It doesn’t matter if you catch me sinning. God still loves me.” This kind of goal-post-shifting is very unbiblical and only works to the detriment of the growing Christian. I am convinced that these make-shift, shape-shifting lyrics cannot be inspired by, or representative of, a clear and concise God.)
For I know who I am
(And I am therefore convinced that there might be something lacking in Sinach’s doctrine. She might not know who she really is, because she might not know who God really is.)
Take a look at me, I’m a wonder
(They might have an idea of who God is, or who they want him to be)
It doesn’t matter what you see now
(And they might run with that idea and claim it to be their relationship with Him)
Can you see His glory?
(And when that idea doesn’t work for ‘others’, they will indemnify themselves with umbrella statements about God)
For I know who I am
(And continue giddily along with their Biblically-inaccurate chants, desperately hoping that the power of Sanctification is found in Positive Vibes)

[Outro]
Oh-ooh-oooh, oh-ooh, oh-ooh-oooh
(They will chant away)
I know who I am
(And miss the mark)
Oh-ooh-oooh, oh-ooh, oh-ooh-oooh
(And miss the mark)
I know who I am
(Every. Single. Time.)
How many of you know who you are?
Come on, come on
Let the world know who you are
Oh-ooh-oooh, oh-ooh, oh-ooh-oooh
I know who I am
Oh-ooh-oooh, oh-ooh, oh-ooh-oooh
I know who I am
In your workplace
Going out and coming in [Oh-ooh-oooh, oh-ooh]
(And finally, the sentimental crescendo is about to reach its peak)
Declare it [Oh-ooh-oooh]
(And tell its worst lie)
Say I know [I know who I am]
(Wrapped in a beguiling wave of emotive music)
Every day I [Oh-ooh-oooh, oh-ooh]
Going out and coming in [Oh-ooh-oooh]
Say… [I know who I am!]
(Say I know? You mean to tell me that If I don’t know who I am, all I have to do is SAY I know who I am enough times, and I’ll know? You mean to tell me I can declare my identity into existence? Of course, any sympathizer will conclude that it was merely a musical ad-lib and nothing more. “No need to split hairs, here, okay?” But am I splitting hairs? If the Sinach tells me I can declare my identity in Christ into existence, what else can I declare? Riches? Beauty? Is that what the Bible teaches us, that we can and should declare identity [and perhaps other things] into existence? Surely not. What a catchy song marinated with wrong doctrine.)
I know!
(No, you really don’t. The Bible has never taught partial truths. If a Biblical principle is true for one person, it is true for all. God has no favorites. Therefore, if you tell me I can declare my identity, then everybody on earth can declare their identity as well. If being so rich and beautiful are being shared in this song as direct results of identity, then everyone who has their identity in Christ should be so rich and beautiful. For both accounts, we know this not to be true. The Bible teaches the concept of identity as both a process and product of learning to walk in obedience to God, through his son Jesus Christ, and not a microwavable checkpoint that rewards us for our [lack of] hard work.)

 

As I listened to the song, a couple of things stood out to me that made me uncomfortable for having liked it. They inspired this writing. I’d like to share them here for the reader’s consideration:

  • Me, Myself, and I. Did I like this song simply because it made me feel good about myself, even when there was little to no Biblical basis supporting its intent as well as content? I tried to count the amount of times the word “I” is used. I lost count. On the other hand, God is only mentioned when he has given Sinach what she requires for life and when he has said who she is, never mind that it is directly contradicting her encouraging the listener (who might not even be Christian) to “declare” for themselves who they are.
  • Is it wrong to Boast? The next logical argument was to tell myself I was being overly critical of a fellow Christian and should behave more graciously. What is wrong with a little boasting or harmless celebration? In Romans 5, Paul says that we boast in the hope of the glory of God (v.2) and we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation (v.11). Every act of self-aggrandizement, that this song is encouraging, is clearly contrary to what the Bible teaches. The apostle Paul says that I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. I couldn’t get the lyrics of the song to line up with the humble posture we are admonished to adopt in the Scriptures.
  • To declare or not to declare? As previously mentioned, if indeed, it is God’s work to say whom you are, as the chorus seems to suggest, why, then, are we told later on in the same song to do God’s work by “declaring it”? Are we replacing God? Doing His job for him? Or simply overstepping?
  • Is it right? Is the assumption that we can “declare it” into existence Biblically sound? What are its benefits and limitations, if any? Where in scripture is it used and how does it glorify the Lord in its practice and product? I couldn’t find any Biblical references or support for it.
  • But, nobody’s perfect. Not even you. Why don’t you just let her be? Well, inasmuch as it is right that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and are unable to please God of our own works (Romans 4:4-5), He has still chosen to trust us with His word and His mandate to the nations, adding that He will be with us till the end (Matthew 28:20) and will enable us to desire and to carry out His will for our lives (Philippians 2:13). This is considerable grounds to carry out our duty with a substantial amount of ‘fear and trembling’ lest our familiarity with God breeds contempt for Him or His commands to us. Since nobody is perfect, Sinach should be willing to receive and consider feedback such as I have presented above, before appropriately addressing the points of contention. After-all, we are one body and we sharpen one another, rebuking in love where we have to, that the saints will be kept from falling away from the faith. Since nobody is perfect, then neither is Sinach, and her excellent crafting of a song does NOT imply that the song’s content is excellent as well. Matthew Westerholm has something to say on this.

I have since concluded that this song is no good for Christians (and Non-Christians alike) and should be avoided in favor of more Biblically-sound entertainment.

12 thoughts on “I know (not) who I am.

  1. Thanks for sharing the Biblical backup! I remember the first time I heard this song at church- by the end of it I felt like “Surely! I have no idea who or what I am!” Very true on the Me.Myself and I’s and the boasting too.

  2. Well…thanks for breaking the biblical truths. Now I have to take the song off my play list. We should all learn to be critics and not just sing songs fwaaaa just because they make us feel good about our selves.

  3. Phewx ! Because relying on what I think of myself is no help to my growth. Mostly because my thoughts are all over the place. Thank you for the break down… The song needs more work shopping. It was her first draft.

  4. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 I have never laughed so hard in a taxi after reading something the way I have just done. This is hilarious 🙌 but on point, I really never understood this song but I sung it 😂.
    Thanks Boydee 👌 may the eyes of our understanding be open more to the sense of the holy spirit.

  5. Thank you sir for this critiquing of the song that you have done. You have done what we humans do best which is finding the flaws and negatives in everything with a lot of compelling evidence. But I have a few questions for you. What is identity? Who or what is the revealer of our identity? how do we know who we are? and also do you know who you are?? if so please enlighten me

    1. Hey Timothy! Glad you stopped by. We Christians find (and thus define) our identity in the one who bought us – our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. How we find this out is by what he left us with – the Bible, Holy Spirit, and fellowship with other Christians. I know enough of who I am (a sinner, saved by grace) to submit to the Lordship of Christ. By his grace, I’m applying myself to learning from him as I grow in this faith, and will share what I know to be true and backed by his word as I progress 🙂

      On the matter of “finding the flaws and negatives in everything with a lot of compelling evidence”, I have presented what I believe to be true. I pray you consider it. Cheers!

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