You know those times when you've been at a gathering of some sort, perhaps a party or dinner, and you're mingling and meeting new people? For some, the thought of this is terrifying, while for others it's exciting. (I personally land somewhere in the middle.) The question that is going to come up most often is likely, "So what do you do?" This is the hallmark getting-to-know-someone question. We of course follow with a response something to the degree of, "Oh, I'm a doctor," "I'm a student-athlete," "I'm in construction," "I'm a stay-at-home mom," and so on. While these are certainly things that you do, so you are in fact answering the question correctly, notice how we tend to use "I'm" at the beginning of our response. Why do you think that is? They didn't ask us, "Hey, who are you?"—because that's just weird. Equally as unnatural, we don't respond with anything like, "I take care of sick people," "I run fast and score points," "I build houses and furniture," or "I take care of my offspring." To many, this might look like normal social behavior. But I'd like to argue that it is affecting us on a deeper level. Let's take a look.
Who is God?
In the beginning of time, God created man in His image (Gen.1:27). So it seems to me, if we are to understand who we are, we should take a quick look at the one whose image we bear.
Many people think of God in one of a few ways: Father, Creator, Savior, or Judge. However, this is not even scratching the surface of who and what God is and wants to be for us. In the Old Testament, God was known by many names and titles. Doing a little bit of research can show how extensive the nature of God is, and I would certainly encourage you to do just that!
But for the sake of time, let me list a few:
• The Faithful God (Deuteronomy 7:9)
• The God of Knowledge (1 Samuel 2:3)
• The God of Justice (Isaiah 30:18)
• The God of my Strength (Psalm 43:2)
• God our Healer (Exodus 15:26)
• God the Creator (Genesis 1:1)
• God is our Father (I Cor. 8:6)
These attributes of God do not change. He is all these things and so much more! And we were created in His image and likeness.
You are NOT What You Do
At some point in your life, you've more than likely heard that line before, and obviously this is the essence of our discussion today. Your occupation certainly doesn't define who you are, but if you're one of the lucky ones that get to do what they love every day, then the outflow of that job might very well be who you really are.
Yet, for those who work a job that maybe is just a means to do what you love, hear me...you're not what you do...STOP acting like it. God has created you with a purpose. That purpose could be your occupation or your occupation could help you fulfill that purpose. I heard it said once, "Your purpose should not come from your actions but your actions from your purpose." So true.
You Have one Job...
One of the most empowering revelations I've ever had is this: you and I really only have one job in life and as soon as we start doing it, life becomes amazing. So many people wonder why they are here, what is their purpose, and honestly, many fall short of their potential because they are afraid to take the big leaps and see what could happen. Our job in this life is to find what attribute of God we are to reflect. Sometimes it's as clear as day and you just know. Other times, it takes a little bit of trial and error to find what it is that brings joy to our world.
"Our job in this life is to find what attribute of God we are to reflect."
Let's go back to our party at the very beginning of this post. There was the doctor, the student-athlete, the construction worker and the stay-at-home mom. Some might look at these as things we do and assume they have no significance as to who we actually are. I'd like to differ.
The doctor — reflects God as our Healer (Exodus 15:26)
The student-athlete, strong and focused — the God of Strength (Psalm 43:2)
The construction worker — God, the Creator (Genesis 1:1)
The stay-at-home mom — God is our Father (mother) (I Cor. 8:6)
My argument is the fact that God created us in His image and that when we figure out what part of that image we best reflect, we will find the most happiness and meaning in our lives. Instead of looking at life as a job or some sort of means to an end, let's take a look at who we really are and look at what we do. These two things should reflect the Creator of heaven and earth in some way.
What are your thoughts? What are you doing and how are you reflecting Jesus through what you do every day? Comment below and let's start a discussion!
Until next time.