The Difference Between Your Role and Your Identity

Ecclesiastes 10:10

If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.

identity

One trait that most people rarely develop into a positive habit is learning the art of turning failure into success. Like an old ax with a dull blade, we continue to exert more physical energy in its use rather than employ sound wisdom on the problem. Like the person who keeps trying to mop up the water in the bathroom without first turning off the faucet, we work harder rather than smarter. But sound wisdom is available for those who are tired of continually falling short of the mark.

To pursue any type of success without expecting setbacks is like running a marathon without expecting to take a drink of water. Life is not designed that way. The quicker one learns to turn lemons into lemonade, the more enjoyable life will become.

First failure is in the eye of the beholder. Thomas Edison failed over two thousand times to find the perfect filament for the electric light bulb. That is how an outsider viewed the situation. However, Mr. Edison himself simply viewed each test as one step in the process of eliminating what doesn’t work.

The largest reason, I believe, people are able to properly manage the mental anguish of failure is the ability to separate their identity as a person from the role they are working through. When you truly realize you are a child of the same God who holds the universe together, held in the grip of Jesus Christ, made and being morphed into his image, you have an eternal identity which no failure nor person can remove. However, when your identity is found in anything else (no matter how good it may look or be), you have made an idol that will eventually come crumbling down.

When you can separate your identity from your role in life, then you will find it easier to evaluate the situation and come up with more reasonable solutions to your dilemma. However, when you use your role as your identity cup, that cup will leave you totally empty when the role is over. Roles come and go but your identity in Christ remains forever.

You see this all the time. The person whose career is over becomes lost because their identity was solely buried in their work. The mother whose identity was found in her children becomes lost when the children leave home. The teenager whose identity is found with his friends becomes lost if not accepted by his peers or their friends move away. The athlete whose identity is found on the football field finds himself loss when he is discarded because of his age.

When you know who you are in Christ though, then each role

you accept becomes a learning process of developing the necessary skills needed to succeed in that role. No matter how well you succeed or fail to succeed, you are only defining your ability to manage that role. Your identity in Christ doesn’t change. Yes, you may be a lousy waitress, but you are an awesome child of God. Yes, you may be a lousy ballplayer, but you can improve by sharpening the necessary skills need to succeed. The same with any role you have chosen to pursue.

Of course, when you build your role upon the God-given gifts and natural abilities given, the path will be easier. Yet motivation and hard work developing the necessary skill set is also necessary and doable. You may not become the #1 rated person in your industry, but you will be greatly respected for what and how you do it.

So, the next time you find yourself short of your mark, thank God for the opportunity you have been given, find yourself a mentor, and know that failure only sets the bar for you to discover what you need to change to become more effective in the role you are working through.

Don’t confuse your identity with your role. Master your role. Keep centered in your identity. Then failure is only a holding pattern in a learning process of improving your role.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Designed To Be Like God

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Gen. 1:27

Imagine a dog behaving like a cat. Or a lion acting like a monkey. Or an elephant like a snake. We would be concern that there was something mentally wrong with the animal. Yet when people behave ungodly, we have come to accept it as normal.

When we fail to pursue holiness, purity, or honesty, are we not being misdirected from our original design? God created humankind after His image; for God is love, full of joy and abundant in goodness. When we fail to live up to God’s design, aren’t we losing out on God’s best? Satan knows.

Adam and Eve had the opportunity to be more like God. But instead of trusting their Lord, they bit into Satan’s temptation that they may have it all now by taking things into their own hands.

Likewise Jesus knew his purpose and design. So did Satan. In the wilderness after Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit led him into the desert to face the enemy (Luke 4). Satan made three offers to Jesus. Each was God’s destiny for Jesus. But Satan tempted Jesus to accept his destiny by disobeying His Father’s Will and take it all now. We know the event, Jesus resisted the tempter and continued to place His trust in His Father to bring about His divine purpose.

We are no different. God has made many promises for us; including to fulfill the purpose for what you were designed to be. But we must patiently wait on Him and resist the temptation to manipulate circumstances and situations as we believe they need to be.

Yes you are uniquely designed. You have a purpose. It may not be what you think it is. But when you lean on our heavenly Triune God, He will direct your steps toward its fulfillment.  In the late season of your life, in retrospect, you will recognize God’s hand in many of your life’s decisions. But meanwhile, while living through them now, you may question, doubt, and worry. Yet as you lean on Him, He will always be at your side reassuring you, coaching you, and creating His masterpiece in you after His image. For remember, ultimately in this life, it is your purpose to be molded and shaped into the image of Jesus Christ; to be His witness now and in preparation for eternity. Everything else is extra.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Slavery of Religion

 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:  “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?  These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.  Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Col. 2:20-23

Religion is man’s attempt to appease God. The practice and mindset is typically built around the premise that you are separate from God. If you want God’s favor, you have to do something to manipulate God your way. Contrast to real Christianity, where you are already reconciled to God. Not because of what you do, but what the Triune God has already done.

Real Christianity is an abiding relationship with the living God. A relationship built upon the finish work of Jesus Christ. Whereas religion typically is man’s idea of how one must perform to merit God’s blessings.

Throughout history, in the name of religion, mankind has done harmful acts one-to-another in the name of their idol god. From sacrificing babies at the altar to performing immoral sexual acts, all in the name of their god. In current times, we may have become more civilized, yet we still have the tenancy to practice religion rather than build an intimate relationship with the ONE.

We may burn candles, flog ourselves, sacrifice money, refrain from marriage, establish higher-than-God-standards of righteousness, ordain certain days more holier than others, deny modern conveniences, cloth ourselves in special outfits, refrain from eating certain foods, practice special or secret rituals, refrain from listening to certain music, place higher importance on “spiritual” occupations, vote for specific political parties, and the list goes on and on and on.

When the act becomes more important than the heart of a matter, and when the task has greater priority than the relationship, be careful. You may be emphasizing the religion rather than enjoying a relationship with the living Lord.

Many times the mechanics of faith are the same. The difficult part to identify is the heart of relationship with our heavenly Father. Only He knows for sure. So why not ask your Father-Son-Spirit how you can improve your relationship with Him? And yes, for those who value religion, don’t worry –  God also works through religion. You will also find Him in business, government, education, entertainment, sports, medicine, and every other institutional field. For wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor.3:17).

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Jesus Christ Chose You

But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— Col. 1:22 ESV.

Before you were ever born, you were selected by Jesus Christ. Before you even heard the name of Jesus Christ, you were forgiven. And before you even acknowledged his existence, you were already included in the Triune circle.

The Incarnation teaches us that God chose himself before the foundation of the world as the sacrifice for humanity’s entrance into the heavenly. Entering the world in human form, He (Jesus) clothed himself with the darkness of the world. All sin, deception, anxiety, pride, shame, and blindness was captured within his humanness. God joined humanity and humanity joined God in this act of divine sacrifice.

The result is Jesus Christ lived and died a vicarious life. He represented you and I as our substitute to defeat Satan and restore humanity’s relationship with our Heavenly Father. In the process, you have been forgiven because of His sacrificial life & death. He did it for you and I.

Not only forgiven, but His resurrection and ascension into heaven paved the way for you and I into a new creation. He is the first of a new humanity.  The physical and spiritual merged together.

Though we are already included in the circle of life with the Triune God, many are still ignorant or in rebellion against him. We haven’t accepted the reality of Who He IS and our position with Him. There lies our chose. Whether or not we want to share life with him or not.

The Bible uses several examples to highlight this point. One is adoption. You, the child, have been adopted by the parent (God). Your decision isn’t to select the parent for adoption but whether or not you will become fully engaged into the family culture. The adoption has already occurred. You can either rebel against your new parent or accept the reality that you have a new guardian who truly cares for you. A new home with permanency.

Another example is marriage. In the first century Biblical culture, the woman didn’t decide who she was going to marry. The selection process was negotiated by the parent and/or groom. As a newly engaged bride, your choice was whether or not you will become fully engaged with your husband and learn to love him. As a newly married couple, you can choose to become fully engaged in a mutually shared relationship or not. The consequences of your decision is yours to make.

Lastly, a disciple didn’t choose his rabbi teacher. It was the rabbi who selected the student. Many may wish to learn at the feet of a great teacher, but the final decision wasn’t theirs to make.

In all three examples, adoption/marriage/discipleship, the instigator of the relationship wasn’t us, but the other side. Our chose is simply to accept our position in the relationship and become fully engaged in the relationship. The same is true with Jesus Christ. He has already chosen you. Will you accept your divine position and become fully engaged?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved