“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT
“In all of creation, identity is a challenge only for humans. A tulip knows exactly what it is. It is never tempted by false ways of being. Nor does it face complicated decisions in the process of becoming.” David Benner, Psychologist
The other night I watched a crime show where the villain was a serial killer. The heroes pursued this psychopath right to the top of a building where the villain plummeted to his death. Except… He didn’t die. He was comatose for a few years and awoke to not knowing who he was or what he’d done. Finally, his memory started coming back to him during his murder trial. He was distraught, drenched in unbelief of his past and broken. His identity was a murderer. Death by cop was his answer.
Not so for us.
As adults, we define ourselves by our status, career, parenting, volunteering, money, etc. The hardest to grasp is we are a masterpiece of God created for good things—good works. We were made in the image of the Father. Our works point to who we are.
Here are some starting places:
Are you a creative person? Did it lead to becoming a beautician, decorator, writer, chef or graphic artist? A parent and/or spouse?
Are you a problem-solver? Did you become a CEO of a company, a computer programmer, start a problem-solving business, work in construction, a plumber or electrician? A spouse and parent?
Are you a loyal person? Do you work in the military, and provide for your family and church? A spouse and/or parent?
Are you a compassionate person? Do you work in healing both emotionally and physically? Volunteer? Give your time and money? A spouse and parent?
Are you intuitive? Do you work in law enforcement, social work or counseling victims? A spouse and/or parent?
Are you detail-oriented? Do facts and figures make your heart sing? Are you into research? Architecture? Do you know exactly when your child came home?
Are you athletic? Parents who run to a frightened child in the middle of the night will say yes. Do you work in physical or occupational rehab? Roofing? Logging? Fishing?
Are you empathetic? Do you work for a non-profit that rescues disaster victims or child-trafficking victims? School counseling? A spouse and/or parent?
The list can go on and on. All of the above are characteristics of our Father and his son, Jesus. These attributes are yours too. These are who you are! How the Father made you. You may be a nurse but what God-given attributes lead you there? You’re a spouse and parent who needs to do all of the above. How blessed that we can choose how to use these attributes to grow the kingdom and full, joyous life here!
As a semi-retired person, who I am leads me into other projects. I was creative as a child and I am now. I just display it differently. I drew pictures as a child, I draw now and I garden. Creativity will last me a lifetime.
Who are you? Really. We’ve let others, addictions, society, status and money define us. For a long time when someone asked, “What do you do?” I thought what I did was who I am. I am a parent, employee/employer, wife, writer, animal lover and more. But first, I’m a beloved child of God. As a child of God, I need to look at my God-given characteristics and with His help, do good works. Another blessing of knowing who you are in Christ is it’s a rewarding and fulfilling journey. What are yours? Do you know? Writing them into a tablet or journal may help. Asking an intimate friend may help. Of course, prayer and the Bible helps. It’s a blessed self-discovery journey in partnership with our Father.
We forget what a glorious thing it is to be made in your image. We forget that we can do what the Son has done and is doing through us. It’s a marvelous and awesome task! Thank you for the wonder of self-discovery and the opportunity for good works that you had planned for us eons ago. We pray they are for You and yours.