I recently came across a post from a friend of mine and it was a picture of her with her children. She captioned the post with "... this is my identity... I am a mother." When I read that it immediately raised some questions in my mind. Why do we constantly put WHAT we do on such a high pedestal? Is it ok to associate WHAT we do with our identity? The answer to both questions is, we have simply made a mistake that a lot of people make. We think our calling in life is WHO we are, and it's not. WHO we are is not the same as WHAT we do.
Everywhere I look on social media and IRL, I see more and more people putting all of their time and effort into having the perfect body or the perfect face. God forbid we have a wrinkle at the age of 40. It would be awful if we actually looked our age, right? While we are all scrambling around trying to look perfect for people who don't even like us, we are not depositing anything into our character or into the things that actually matter and will last. A lot of us don't even know who we are. If someone asked you right now, "Who are you?" Would you answer with a "what": A mother, a doctor, a student, a pastor, a worship leader, an entrepreneur? I think most of us would. Beauty, accolades, money, fame, all fade eventually. Your character, however, will live on even beyond your life here on earth.
The other day, Kanaan, my 6 year old, asked his little brother, Lawson, who is 3, what he wanted to be when he grew up. This is the question that every child will be asked at some point, probably before they even reach middle school. What did you say as a kid? I'm pretty sure I wanted to be a like a professional volleyball player, singer, ice skater person. lol. I had many dreams. As I got older I threw out the unreasonable dreams and focused in on what I was really good at, and the things that seemed reachable. This is typically what people do. We begin to study and grow in our talents and giftings. We spend so much time figuring out what we are gonna be and then we begin to identify with that. And if we're not careful, what we do becomes our identity. Little Lawson had so much wisdom, unknowingly. He responded to his brother's question with, "ummm, myself." Wow. Mind blown. It was so simple for him. There is a reason that God wants us to become like little children. Without any prompting, a 3 year old knew the truth that WHO he was going to be was way more important than WHAT he was going to be.
You are a WHO not a WHAT. What God has called you to do in this life is important, but that can change. How you carry out your calling is significant, but it can change. WHO you are, your identity in Christ, should be steadfast. You are a child of God. You are loved. You are extremely valuable. You are INCREDIBLE. No matter what changes in your life, your career, where God has called you to minister, your job, your major, it doesn't matter. That is NOT your identity. Your identity is in Christ and he is the solid rock on which you stand. Never changing, never shaken, the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Put your value and your time and effort into WHO you are and it will always overflow into WHAT you do. So, let's change the question to WHO do you wanna be when you grow up?
Lean in to Life. It’s messy, but beautiful.