We all have an identity. We all have a root for that identity. Who we are is important. It’s important for us to understand who we are.
Over the past 32 years I have developed into who I am today. My character is the result of a loving family. My individuality is the result of a mother, who taught me to always be me, no matter what. My work ethic is from my father, who taught me that there is extreme value in hard work. My faith, a gift from God but also a gift from grandmothers on both sides of the family who always showed me what it meant to lean on our divine father. My competitive nature can probably be attributed to my younger brother who was always slightly better at everything than I was. My security with myself as a person, probably attributed to my best friend, who although we are opposites in many ways have always accepted one another for who we are… That’s 32 years of developing there. That doesn’t include the past 11 with Crystal who has refined all of these and the past 8 with children who have solidified all of these things. That’s alot of identity developed.
The crazy thing is that I was also created to be who I am today. If anyone else had live the same exact life that I lived they would have been a different person than I am. So although I can point to my environment and acknowledge certain things and how they have affected me, I also have to point to my creator and understand that I was created to go through these things and they were designed to make me who I am.
Over the past 6 years I have been heavily emersed in ministry. During that time alot of things emerged and developed in me. I became a very effective public speaker, I became a charismatic leader, I learned how to listen and also how to counsel. I became identified by these things.
Most of us have things that we are identified by. Mine just happened to be ministry related. You may be reading this and you may not be a believer, but the truth is that you have certain traits that you are identified by. We all can probably pick something that we are known for.
For me, I attribute these identifiable gifts to God. I’m effective in these areas because God graced me with these abilities. The problem was that after a few years of being identified by these traits I began to put my faith in them. I began to put my faith in the gifts rather than the giver. The gifts didn’t cease, but my joy in them did. I was still able to hold an audience and deliver a great word, I was still able to listen and counsel… but I just began to lose the joy that I once had with those things.
The problem was that the source of joy wasn’t in the gifts. The source of joy was in the giver of the gifts. When I put my faith in the gifts I was losing connection with the giver. I was never happy because of these things, rather I was happy because these things allowed me to serve my creator effectively. They allowed me to partner with Him and show the world His love. The ministry wasn’t in the gifts, the ministry was in sharing His love.
What are the things that identify you? Are you a great musician? Are you a builder? Are you a brilliant artist? What are your identifying traits? Have you allowed your identifiers to become your identity when your identity should define your identifiers.
It’s easy to get caught in a trap and forget who we are. Our culture is designed to hide our true selves and amplify our giftings, allowing us to become only what is beneficial to others. We live in a consumer culture where we consume and our culture modifies us to be consumed, teaching us that our value is in the things that we are gifted in, things that are of value to others. I would argue that the things that we are gifted in are not our value at all. Our value is found in the one who gives the gifts. If he saw us as worthy then we are priceless. I can’t imagine putting a price on the son of God, and when we place a certain value on someone we are adjusting the price that Jesus already paid.
Recognize now that you are worth more.
You are not just a product to be consumed.
You are given gifts with a purpose, but those gifts do not define who you are.
You are loved.
That is your value. You are priceless.