Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Hard Question About True Identity

On Thursday nights, before rehearsal, Josh always shares a little bit about what the Lord is teaching him.  I love hearing what he has to share EVERY week.  But one week, in particular, really hit home for me.

He said something along the lines of: If God were to take your gift or talent away, would you still be confident in who He is and who He has made you?  Don't let your gift or talent define who you are.

I always begin to think about things like this in a practical, personal way.

I am a violinist.  I LOVE playing music.  I love worshiping the Lord with my talent. I love mentally hiding away (even if I am in front of hundreds of people) and joining in with an orchestra, symphony or band to make beautiful music.  There is just something about it that is so fulfilling and energizing!

But what if I had an accident where I lost my hands, arms or something far worse, to where I could no longer use this gifting?  Would I ever have a chance of feeling complete again?  Am I banking on my God-given talents to give me fulfillment and purpose?  Am I relying on this gift to define my identity?

I also love working out.  I love the rush after a good sweat.  I love trying to keep my body healthy and fit.  I took pride in the fact that I was running up until the week Rainy was born and playing soccer until I found out I was pregnant with our first.  But for several years I physically could NOT run.  I couldn't get more than a half mile without excruciating pain.  It got so frustrating that I just quit trying to jog altogether.  I found other avenues of working out, but there's nothing like getting outside and just running off some steam.  I had to learn to find my identity in Christ, and not in the gift of jogging, or running, or playing sports, or having a super fit body.

Maybe you pride yourself in service.  You are always giving of your time, but what if your time was taken away?  What if you simply couldn't do everything you wanted to do, because NOBODY can do it all?  Would you be left feeling worthless or lacking sense of direction and fulfillment?

Or it could be in homeschooling your children.  What if one of your children needed more than you had to offer and you had to send them off to school (speaking from experience here;).

I'm anxious to see how I fair when my kids go off to college and I am an empty nester. 

Basically, if it was all stripped away what will I find my identity wrapped up in?

God has given us all gifts and talents.
We use what we have been given in obedience and most often it has a product of joy and fulfillment.

But don't let it indefinately define who you are.

We have to be able to use our gifts, yes, but we are to find our true identity in Christ alone, not in what He gives us in each particular season of our lives.
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