I’m guessing it’s some version of “I’m a … mom, wife, aunt, grandma, teacher, graphic designer, lawyer, church volunteer….”
This kind of answer tells a lot about what you do and how you relate to people. But does it really tell who you are? What happens if you lose one of these things—for good reasons or not so good ones. You choose to stay home with kids so are no longer defined by your career—or you lose a job. Your kids head off to college, your grandkids outgrow you, or you lose a spouse to death or divorce. So who are you then?
When I answer the “who am I” question, I often tell people that I direct Take Heart or work in women’s ministry leadership at my church. But recently, I started looking for a job. It meant, potentially, that the volunteer activities I let define me would take a back seat. It wasn’t a complete separation from those activities, but I couldn’t commit to things I loved to do, like leading a weekly Bible Study. I felt kind of lost and purposeless. Who was I?
In the midst of my floundering, I wanted God to quickly show me what the new me would look like, so I could settle into my new identity. Instead, God reminded me that who I am has nothing to do with what I do. Rather, who I am has everything to do with who God is and what He has done for me.
Did you get that?
Who I am has nothing to do with what I do. Rather, who I am has everything to do with who God is and what He has done for me.
God began to take me to passages like Ephesians 1: 3-13, challenging me to personalize them. Check it out:
- God has blessed me in Christ with every spiritual blessing that comes from heaven.
- God chose me in Christ to be holy and blameless in God’s presence before the creation of the world.
- God destined me to be his adopted child through Jesus Christ because of his love. This was according to his goodwill and plan and to honor his glorious grace that he has given to me freely through the Son whom he loves.
- I have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and I have forgiveness for my failures based on his overflowing grace, which he poured over me with wisdom and understanding.
- I have also received an inheritance in Christ.
- I was destined by the plan of God, who accomplishes everything according to his design.
- I was sealed with the promised Holy Spirit because I believed in Christ.
It’s a pretty impressive resume, isn’t it?
It would be a lie to say that I’m all-of-the-sudden secure in who I am apart from what I do. But I’m beginning to think differently about my identity, to look to God for my answers, and to trust that God’s truth will make the journey from my head to my heart!
Image by Sunset_02459.jpg: Nevit Dilmen Do_you_love_me.svg via Wikimedia Commons