Only when our identity is found outside of our work can we fully do the work we are called to.

“So what do you do?”

This is one of the most common questions we are asked when meeting someone new. However, given the amount of time we spend working, it can easily become the answer to the much more vital question, “who are you?”

Our culture encourages us to find work that we are passionate about. This isn’t a bad thing, but it is easy for that work to define us. In the Bible we are called to instead find our identity in Jesus, and as we work out of this new identity we will do work differently.

When I look back on my career thus far, I see many struggles with finding identity in my work, and it’s an ongoing battle. When I find my identity in work, there are four key indicators in my life:

  1. The outcome is personal. When my work is me, success leads to pride and failure is crushing.
  2. Recognition matters. When I work for me, I want others to see the work I do and commend me for it.
  3. Superman complex develops. When my identity is my job, I tend to overvalue what I bring, and can’t delegate well.
  4. Fear is a motivator. If my work is who I am, I need to be successful, and I am driven to avoid failure at all costs.

Thankfully I have seen this decrease over the years. The biggest remedy has truly been my morning devotional, as it reminds me of my identity and sets my mind right for the day ahead.

When we work out of our true identity we are freed up to do the work we are called to, even if it appears to be “below” us and our skills, doesn’t pay enough, lacks the recognition of others, or doesn’t seem to be a success. We can do this work with all our strength, day in and day out, because we are called to do the work, not control the outcome.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV

~ Sean

Closed for now ... something new coming soon(ish).