The first couple of days after loosing my job were a blur. How do I function without my work? What do I tell people when I am asked about my profession? It felt like my identity had been ripped from me. Too many of us tie our identity to our job, our company or our title. Think about your answer when you are asked, “What do you do?” I would bet 99% of us answer with something like:
“I am a project manager”
“I am in the high tech industry”
“I am in retail”
“I am a Manager at XYZ company”
“I sell ABC”
Our normal answer ties our identity to something that is finite. A company, a job, a title all will go away. My whole life I pushed to get a Vice President title. I tied my identity to the title. In an instant it went away. What comfort did the title give me? What is my identity without that title? This is where God entered and said my identity needs to be in Him.
Luke 6:35-36 tells us, “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.”
In Japan, the identity of individuals is with the company first, then the title and last the persons name. It always seemed backwards. When you meet someone, you expect to find out their name. Instead, they let you know what company they work for. The loyalty is nice, but it completely takes the identity away from the person and puts it to the company. Why can’t Christians use the same model and switch their identity around. I wonder what would happen if we really shifted our identity to being a son or daughter of God. When asked what we do, what if we answered with something like:
“I am a child of God who works at XYZ company”
“I am a co-heir to the kingdom of God and I sell ABC”
“I am a follower of Jesus and I manage projects on the side”
Pretty radical I know. What do you think? I would love your thoughts.