The Core of Identity

I’ve been reading The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel this week and in the process I came across a powerful idea said well. Craig was talking about his battle with being a workaholic and said this:

“Instead of finding my worth in what I produce, I’m finding my worth in who I am in Christ.”

And that punched me in the gut.

Too often I find myself measuring who I am by what I do or what I produce. I am constantly asking myself, “Am I doing enough?” It could be in my marriage, my parenting, or in the church. And I know this is not a problem reserved for me.

Our very culture breeds this feeling that our identity is wrapped up in what we do. Think back to the last time you introduced or were introduced to someone. How quickly did the conversation turn to your job and “what you do for a living”? Maybe you even introduced someone by stating what they do.

This is Nancy, she is a nurse at the hospital.
This is Dave, he’s a pastor at the church on 3rd.
This is Thomas, he’s an accountant.
This is Carol, she works for the university.

It is no wonder that when we lose our jobs, the situation quickly goes from a financial crisis to an identity crisis. Everywhere in our culture who we are is intimately linked with what we do, to an unhealthy, but unnoticed extent.

So when our work is critiqued we take it as a personal affront. We begin to see our paycheck as a right, not a gift from the Giver. And sometimes our live becomes about enduring our job in order to make it to retirement because then we can do what we really want to do.

But today? Today may you realize that your identity does not come from your job. Your identity comes from the One who made you and sent His Son to save you. Your identity is not custodian, mailman, engineer, or waitress. Instead your identity is son or daughter of the Most High. Your value as a person comes from Christ living in you, not what you do for a living.

Today may you live into this truth boldly in a culture that will do everything it can to convince you of the opposite.

Grace and peace

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