I've had the blessing of knowing my good buddy, Tim Thomas, for over 20 years now. For the last decade we’ve been in the same small group, the SOBs (Sons of the Bible). Yep, that’s him wrestling that steer down at a retreat years ago.
Tim shared this good ole boy quote at our last High Low session – “If you are what you do...when you don’t, you ain’t!”
I contemplated that statement for several days. Read it again. It took me a couple of times. It speaks to our identity. If our identity is completely wrapped up in our careers, who are we after we retire? If our identity is consumed in being super parent, what happens when the kiddos leave the nest to pursue their own dreams. If our identity is tied entirely to our marriage, what happens when our spouse dies or leaves? There’s only one solution to this, and it’s found here:
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.” ~ Ephesians 1:11 (MSG)
The only way to know who you are and what your purpose is in life is to look to Jesus Christ. Why? Because he created you!
“We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created . . . everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.” ~ Colossians 1:15-16 (MSG)
The phrase “in Christ” is one of the most important in the Bible. In the New Testament it is used 89 times, and the phrase “in him” is used 79 times. If you have trusted Jesus Christ for salvation, you likely call yourself a Christian, but the word “Christian” is used only twice in the whole Bible. In biblical times, the most common description used for a follower of Jesus was “in Christ.” That directly points to where you should find your identity as a follower of Jesus.
In Christ, you find out who you are—that’s your identity. And you find what you’re living for—that’s your purpose. The only way to know your identity and purpose in life is by getting to know your Creator. You may think you know yourself best, but God knows everything about you. He made you to love you, and he gave you a purpose only you can fulfill. If you really want to find out what that purpose is and how to pursue it, you have to get to know Jesus Christ and ask for his wisdom and direction. When you look for your identity in other people, you’re not going to find it. When you look for your identity in your job or your hobby or your accomplishments or your causes, you’re only going to be disappointed. When you find your identity in Christ, you’re going to find your purpose and the motivation to get to work on it.
Where is your identity based? If you don’t know or if it’s wrapped up in temporary, worldly things, then it’s time to start shifting your focus to Kingdom work. We never retire from doing the relational and outreach work our Father gives us. Since we don’t know how much time we have left, we need to lean into this sooner than later.
“Get busy living or get busy dying.”
Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption.
We only get one life, and the urgency of getting on with what we are meant to do increases every day."
Jim Collins, Good to Great.
"Just like how football teams regroup and reassess their approach for the second half during a football game, we should do the same for our lives."
Bob Buford, Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance.
We need to take off those other jerseys we wear and put on the new garments we were given when we accepted Christ into our hearts and were adopted forever into His family. Why wait?
ClintFinD Newsletter May 2021 ED Letter FinDing Your True Identity 05.02.2021