So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
As men, we typically find our identities in the jobs that we do or the tasks that we perform and some, in the amount of money they make. While the Bible does teach men that we are to work and earn a wage, the Bible does not claim that we are what we do or we are what we make. For many of us, we make much less than our work is worth and do not have enough to show for our efforts and time.
The same is true for women. Many women define themselves by nurturing and raising their children and caring for their families. Today, many women have careers and they see themselves for the labels they have been given: secretary, nurse, assistant, boss. Just like men, the things they do and the tasks they perform are how they see themselves. They are productive members of society and help drive home what is needed.
In other words, “We the People” find our identities in the things that we create and the fruits of our labor. The things that we accomplish here on Earth and what we leave behind are how others see us and how we identify ourselves and there is nothing new about this. While there is nothing wrong in being proud of what you have accomplished and being proud of having a great family and doing your best, seeing yourself only for the things that you do and the things that you have accomplished is a dangerous and quick way to become burned out.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
When we put too much emphasis and stock into the things here on Earth, they quickly become stale. That is, we quickly search for something new regardless of how big or small the accomplishment and/or event may be. Right after I finish this writing, I am going to be concentrating on the next one and not because this topic is not important but rather, there is much more to be focused one and the same is true for our accomplishments.
Do not get me wrong, I am proud to have the opportunity to spread God’s word and His teachings through my writings but these writings do not define who I am but for a long time, I fell into the same trap that I find many others in and that’s being what they do. Even when I found Christ and surrendered my life to Him, I still had a hard time separating myself from what I did and I can honestly tell you that I did not have real peace or joy.
Regardless of what I accomplished, it did not take long before I was searching for something new. After I earned my Associates Degree, I was in pursuit of my Bachelor’s Degree. After this, I had my mind set on a Master’s Degree. After this, I wanted to become something more, something bigger and dare I say, better? This is natural as its human nature to continue to search and seek out. By nature, we are adventurers and explorers and it’s inbred into many of us as we cannot stay still for too long.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
—2 Corinthians 5:17
There came a moment in my life when I finally stopped thinking of myself as what I do and see my identity in Christ. The God that created me and gave me life is the same God that gave me a purpose much bigger than anything I could have thought for myself and He wants us to be more and do more. No, not more as in physical activities as many of us run ourselves down trying to do more and more but rather, more in Him.
The 23rd Psalm tells us that God lays us down in green pastures and leads us next to the still waters and tho’ we may walk through valleys of shadows and death, God is with us. Sometimes, it may be hard to completely reside in God and give all to Him but when we do completely rely on His word and have faith in His plan, we find peace and joy. Satan walks the Earth, still, and while he did his best to kill Christ, he could not and when Christ was finally put to death, He rose again and showed us that there is nothing He cannot do.
Therefore, as new creations in Christ, we simply need to allow Christ the time and opportunity to do what He desires. This may not always be easy and I can attest to this but real peace, real hope, and real joy is found in Christ and is only found when we give it all over to Christ and allow Him to fully take over. In Christ, our real identifies are found and this is the way we should see ourselves; not for our accomplishments or our shortcomings, and hopefully, the way others will see us as God lives within each of us.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.’