“…you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:6-7 (ESV)
Whenever we meet someone new, the conversation eventually reaches the question, “what do you do?” Typically the reply is the job we have or the number #1 responsibility currently in our life like being a full time mom or a volunteer for a nonprofit. From this reply we quickly summarize a person’s identity and whether or not we have something in common to discuss. Yet what we do and who we are may not fit into the standard cultural box of the time. That sometimes leads to an awkward conversation with the new person in our world.
One of the challenges that many people face travelling through time and space is separating the roles in their life from their identity. We typically see this with people who identify themselves though their roles. If they have a great day at work, they feel good about themselves. If they have a bad day at work, they feel less worthy. If the current fad is to be a celebrity or entrepreneur , they will pursue it as the answer for their life. The struggle is realizing that the roles we choose will only temporarily fill our identity cup but will never sustain it.
One of life’s big questions is to answer “who am I?” What are my strengths, weaknesses? What is my purpose in life? Where do I fit in this world? The answer, as you may already be aware, is Jesus Christ. He is life’s reason. He is the central character of the Bible. All of life is built around Him. When we come to that realization, than and only then, will we discover our identity.
We will realize that He is the beginning of a new creation; a creation that includes you. You have an identity that is permanently engraved in heaven and in your heart through the Holy Spirit. No role can match it. Nothing in this world will complete you and fulfill you like He will.
Whatever role you may pursue is simply something you do, not who you are. In your role you can learn new skills and improve your performance. Who you are is not measured by performance, but by the grace of God. Who you be is expressed by who you follow and serve.
Performances may measure outcome, but grace identifies the heart. Both are needed to survive in today’s world. Yet, who you be will always survive your roles. Your role as a husband, wife, father, mother, executive, teacher, scientist, musician, athlete, actor, or whatever, will come to an end. However, who you are and be, will continue into eternity. God is more concern of who you are than the role you perform. His purpose is to prepare you for eternity, not necessarily for you to climb the corporate ladder, win the super bowl, or marry your childhood sweetheart.
Let’s not confuse our roles in life with our identity. It only leads to more frustration and heartache. However, when you accept and live life in Christ nothing will take away your identity. You are already included in the work Christ has accomplished. Therefore, enjoy your life in Christ and be thankful for the various roles you are able to perform for the glory of God.
Remember, we are always rooting for you!
Yours in Christ,
Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married
Learn. Integrate. Grow.