Identity: Who You Are, Not What You Do

100-peopleAsk one hundred strangers to tell you about themselves, and be prepared to hear about their jobs, their education, and their accomplishments. There is rarely hesitation in their words because they are confident in what they do.   But have they told you who they are?

The world system has trained us from our earliest days to build our resumes to impress other people.  We get caught up in the “rat race to the top” and, sadly, some of us raise our children to do the same.   Think about it: we want our children to go to the best schools, and earn the highest honors; we expect them to excel in some sport or other activity where their ribbons, medals, and trophies can be displayed for our peers and theirs to see; we encourage them to follow a career path that will pay lots of money so they can buy lots of things to signify their success and fortune.

Of course there is nothing wrong with accomplishments in education, careers, sports and hobbies, but the lies we believe about what we do can lead to a life filled with dissatisfaction regarding our true identity, and to an ongoing search for significance.   Satan uses the world system and our flesh to convince us that we find our significance in our performance and what others say about us.  We believe we must meet certain standards, and must have the approval of certain people in order to feel good about ourselves.   But what does God say about our significance?

Ephesians 2:10 says, “You are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…”

The 210 Project   title came from this beautiful promise from God’s Word.  In the book, the authors tell us this verse describes God’s wonderful design for our lives, worked out through His redemptive plan:  “You are God’s workmanship.”  A statement of fact – reality – a truth you can count on.

From The 210 Project we read what it means to be God’s workmanship:

“Just like the artisan working on a block of wood or stone, or blank canvas or paper, or the poet with pen in hand, what we can’t see looking at the medium, God the Artisan can.  And like the artist’s subject, being His workmanship isn’t static.  Rather, it’s a dynamic, ongoing, and unfolding process.  Whatever the medium, the outcome is the same:  a brilliant work of art.”

Wow!  If that doesn’t confirm your significance in Christ, perhaps this will: God will give you what you need to fulfill your destiny in His workmanship!   In Ephesians 1 we learn that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ; the riches of His grace are lavished upon us; in Him we have redemption and forgiveness of sins. And, God wraps it all up with a bow in Ephesians 1:11, 13-14, “In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been chosen according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will…We have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it.

What does this mean practically for you and me?  As Christ followers, we belong to the King of kings.  Our eternal home, our destiny, is guaranteed not by what we do, but by who we are, and whose we are in Christ Jesus.  As we allow the Holy Spirit to live through us, we will fulfill our purpose on earth in His power, never our own.   So the next time someone asks you who you are, tell them you are a work in progress, but the results are guaranteed to be brilliant!

Carmen Pate is a Principal with Alliance Ministries.




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