I took a walk yesterday afternoon. As I stepped my way through the neighborhood, I listened to the first session of the Homeschool Parenting Summit. During the last few minutes of his inspiring talk, Paul Tripp discussed the danger of finding your identity in your children.
I started thinking about how true his warning was. If I place all my eggs in the basket of my success as a parent or my children’s ultimate success in life…well, since we’re all human, I’m bound to be disappointed.
When the session was over, I started thinking about all the other worldly ways I might try to define myself. I began making a list:
- Physical appearance
- Educational level
- Singing ability
- Being nice to others
- Making a good impression
- U.S. citizenship
- Parenting ability
- Well-behaved kids
- Successful kids
- Social media
- Financial status
- Condition of my house or car
- Being able to eat out often
- Having the latest gadgets
- My husband’s success
- How many friends I have
- What church I attend
We burn ourselves out trying to find our identity in all the things we do.
I was just getting warmed up when I thought about the Apostle Paul. He had everything going for him. The Jewish world of his day must have looked up to this guy before he met Jesus. But afterward? Here’s what he had to say about that:
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith…” Philippians 3:8-9
Did you catch that? The worldly standards that the Jews of his day respected did not mean a thing to Paul. Because He knew where his true identity was found.
Like Paul, I don’t answer to the standards of the world. They all pale in comparison to who I am in Christ. Who does God say I am?
- Child of Almighty God
- Daughter of the King of Kings
- Recipient of grace
- Loved by God
- Set apart for Him
- Strong in the Lord
Now that’s a list that could go on for eternity!
It’s interesting that the first list is mostly made of things I have to do. It’s no wonder that we burn ourselves out trying to find our identity in all the things we do. The second list only requires me to trust God. It’s who I am in Him.
Several popular Christian songs remind me of who I am. One of my favorites is “You Say” by Lauren Daigle.
Lord, thank you for speaking to me through yesterday’s session and Your Word. Help me always to remember that my identity does not come from what I do. It comes from who I am in You. Amen.