It’s important to say now, that it really does not matter how the world sees our job, our role, our actions in life.
Some will be great in the eyes of God AND in the eyes of the world – but some will only be valued by God alone.
And you will still be the same YOU that you’ve always been whatever your hand finds to do, whether the world thinks you’re great or not.
God honours us when we do whatever we do with a good heart, reaching our potential in that area and listening to Him throughout in case there is some course-correction we need to make to put ourselves in line with His plan.
We will get the same reward in Heaven if we do all God calls us to do, regardless of what the world thinks of us.
God does not reward WHAT we do but HOW we do it.
Did we do it for the right reasons, with the right attitude, and in the right way?
That is what God is looking at, not how MUCH we feel we have achieved compared to whoever our eyes are on instead of God.
If we do what we are called to do, if we do anything our hand finds to do as well as we can, then we have done enough – because, quite simply, we cannot do any more than that… and we shouldn’t even try to do so, let alone find our identity in work the world says matters more.
We have nothing to prove to others… and nothing to prove to ourselves.
We may not feel that we have achieved enough – and therefore in our minds we think that we not enough – but God says that we are, not because of what we have done but because of what HE did on the Cross.
You see, you have nothing to prove to God either: He knows what we were and who we are now and nothing will change this identity we have in Him.
This is why we are more than what we do: because God Himself has made us more than we can ever achieve on our own.
We are forgiven, we are redeemed, we are loved and we are free.
Nothing we can do will ever help us find this identity because we don’t deserve it and never will, we can never work enough to be worthy of it and we will never ever manage to earn it no matter how much we do in life.
God’s actions take us far beyond where our own actions ever will.
If we define ourselves based on our job then we are selling ourselves short. And, indeed, taking pride in something so insignificant it pales in comparison to what Jesus has done for us.
It’s worth asking ourselves a few questions to see where our thinking really is on this:
- Do we really need to be great in the eyes of others to feel we have found who we really are?
- Do we already know who we are in Christ so we don’t care what others think of us in terms of our job? Are we seeking their approval… or God’s?
- Do we need to stand out from the crowd in this world (even from other Christians) to feel we have an identity that is worth something?
- Do we know that we already stand out to God and indeed are never out of the attention of our heavenly Father who is constantly watching and enjoying each and every one of His children, all at the same time?
- Do we know that to Him we are worth more than gold, whatever price tag the world tries to burden us with? Have we understood that we are not, and never can be, better than other people (even our fellow brothers and sisters!) by simply doing more of what the world values?
- Do we know that, because of what God has done, we are on the same level playing field as each other?
- Do we know that striving towards what we think makes us look good does not lift us any higher than those around us who are already doing what God has called them to do, however that looks to us?
- Do we realise that it is God and God alone who gives us a secure and everlasting identity and that this is an identity that frees us up from trying to get our sense of worth from those who value what is not worth pursuing?
In case you think I’m being negative about the incredible work that many of us carry out, I want to say that it’s good to enjoy our work. It is very good to feel we have accomplished much through our job, but it is great to know that it is only by God’s grace that we have the job and the skills we need to do it in the first place.
It’s even better to feel secure, not in our profession, but in the knowledge that we are a child of God and that nothing can take that away because it comes from God Himself and this truly IS who we are!
To return to my friend, I can happily say that she now knows all this, at last.
She understands what God thinks about what we do in life. She knows what God values in us and how this is very different to what the world says is important and finally, she realises that she is a child of God and that this, above all else, is who she really is.
Her security and identity is no longer in her job – she needs it of course to pay the bills, but it does not define who she is in her own thinking.
She knows she is so much more than just the profession she has chosen to follow, which is no longer teaching, by the way – not that it ever mattered!
She is happier now than she ever was in terms of her identity because she has found it in the place where it always was from the start: she has found her identity in Christ!
She knows that God delights in us when, whatever we do and wherever we find ourselves, we seek to honour Him, reaching our God-given and God-directed potential with a good heart that is seeking to be in line with His.
Ultimately, she has discovered what I hope you’ll soon discover if you don’t know it yet… that you are more than what you do – so very much more!