Can you describe yourself in 20 words or less? I’m married with 3 children ages 16, 13 and 11 , I belong to the Christian Reformed Church and I work as a casual teacher. ( just over 20 words I think).
I wonder what you would say if you were asked to describe yourself in 20 words. I think most of you would agree that if we had to give a brief description of ourselves it would involve stating our family situation and our work, whether it is paid or unpaid. So how we see ourselves, which we can call our identity, is very much linked to what we do. This not only affects how we see ourselves but also how we think others see us too.
But how often are we not really satisfied with our identity? How often do we find ourselves wishing we could be different in some way? Maybe our family situation is not as we would
like. Maybe you wished that you had taken other work opportunities in the past. Maybe you feel that you have somehow missed out on furthering your career because of your family commitments. These feelings can make us feel very dissatisfied with our life and with ourselves.
Speaking from my own personal experience, I made the choice to resign from full time work when I left teaching to have children and I had a 13 year break before returning to do casual work. Being a casual means I have no regular work, or a regular class, so I’m not even considered a member of staff. I don’t even have a pigeon hole! In one sense I’m a nobody. (Can you hear the violins playing?) So in the eyes of the world my identity has taken a big nose dive since my full time teaching days!
Thankfully God takes a very different view of our identity than the community around us. He is not concerned with what type of job we have, or even if we have a paid job. He does not view us in terms of what we do.
So how does God see us?
Let’s read one Bible verse that makes this very clear.
Yet to all who received him,(that is Jesus), to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12
God sees us as His children, when we believe in Jesus, the one who came into the world to bring us peace with God. When we accept Jesus as our Saviour, God welcomes us into His family, Why? Because of how hard we work, or what we do or how many degrees we have? No , because He loves us so much . In the Bible we read:
How great is the love that Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:2
So when you’re feeling like a nobody, and you wished you had achieved something great in your life or that you did something that seemed more significant, just remember that you matter to God, and that He wants you in His family. Only when you realise this, will you find an identity in being one of God’s children, an identity that will give you peace and contentment all your life. Our life may change in many ways, as we take on different roles in the work place and in our family, however, once you are in God’s family your identity remains the same, you will always be one of God’s children.
So let’s return to where I started. Describing myself in 20 words or less:
Take 2: I’m one of God’s children because of God’s great love for me. (only 12 words for that description!)
Is that your identity too?
Judy de Feyter 20.10.11