Finding Our Identity

If I asked you who are you  could you tell me? What if I asked you where do you find your identity? How would you answer. Would you say a firefighter, a policeman, a mechanic, a dancer, a medical worker, an auditor, a midnight toker? We try to find our identity in all sorts of things because we like to explain to everyone who we are typically as a status symbol.

I use to deal with these very questions. When I was fired from pest control two years ago, I sat in my truck staring at the box of things from my desk, my hands on the steering wheel with tears in my eyes and I asked one question. If I’m no longer an exterminator, who am I? That question haunted my thoughts for the next few months as I struggled to look for work.

I had separated my identity in Christ from the rest of my life. I had compartmentalized my life. I was a Christian at church, an exterminator at work, a husband and father at home, and a friend at the coffee shop. Where I failed in life was I found my identity in things I could lose.

Now, when asked who am I, my first response is a child of grace (God). I can’t lose this identity. It won’t be taken away from me. It forever defines who I am regardless of where I go or what I do, I will always be a child of God first. So if I go coach some folks on finding jobs, I’m a child of God who helps folks find jobs. If I go to the ballgame, I’m a child of God who watches sports. If I’m at home, I’m a child of God who fathers a son and loves one wife. No matter where I go or what I do, I participate as a child of God.

If I was told that I needed to be a child of God at work just a few years ago, I would have gotten mad. I don’t want to take church to work. I like my Sundays far removed from work. Sundays were my vacation from the heavy trodden of labor. I didn’t want my Monday through Friday to intersect with my Sunday. I wanted them separate so I could at least enjoy one day of my week. Now I realize how dangerous that attitude was.

What if we took the Kingdom everywhere we go? Instead of compartmentalizing our life, we actually live life through the identity of begin a child of God first. It’s difficult because now we have to live by a certain set of rules. Rules like serve others first, look after other’s needs, be kind to one another, love one another, and seek the kingdom first above all else. In other words whether I eat or drink, whatever I do, I do it for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). This means that I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and love others as I would love myself (Matthew 22:37-39).

So my identity is found in loving God and others. The J.O.B. is just an occupation, being a Christians in my vocation!


About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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