Knowing the (correct) answer to this is invaluable.
I’m a little late with the newsletter this month, my friend. I have been working on getting one of our properties ready to sell, and it has taken most of my time for the last several weeks. Thank you for your patience.
As I look at the business environment (and the world in general), I cannot help but be concerned. So many of the issues we are facing are rooted in identity, or lack thereof. I’m not going to get into politics or even a moral discussion of societal trends. Rather, I want to share something I heard recently.
There are 3 lies of the enemy (all related to identity):
You are what you do.
You are what you have.
You are what other people say about you.
You Are What You Do
This is a big one for us Americans. Think about when we meet someone new… What is usually our first question? “What do you do?” How messed up is that? What we do is so wrapped up with our (false) identity that we start a new relationship with our work. And that is simply nonsense. What we do might reflect part of who we are, but it just as easily might not. My father was a millwright at a steel mill before he retired. Is that who he is? Of course not. That is only one characteristic of him, and it is no longer part of his life. (This is also why depression skyrockets for retirees. When their work is their identity, retirement leaves them without purpose and without knowing who they really are.) Of course my dad’s work affected his identity, but his work was not WHO HE IS.
You Are What You Have
Our “stuff” is another huge trapping in our culture. We like to think that we are beyond materialism, but consider our houses, our cars, our “prized possessions”. How would we feel if those were all gone. Would we be just as lost as some retirees are after they no longer have work to do? Have you ever forgot your phone or let the battery die? I realize that phone are communication devices, but they are still possessions. People survived without phones for thousands of years… could we? Physical possessions are good things until they become part of our identity.
You Are What Other People Say About You
Have you heard about cyberbullying? Elementary students are facing these types of identity attacks on a regular basis. The fear of not being included coupled with the fear of what others say is only new in the medium by which this is being perpetuated. There is nothing new here, but social media has made it instant, constant, and blatant. But this lie is not just for kids. So many of us adults are bombarded with FOMO and “Keeping up with the Jones’”. How do we handle criticism (justified or not)? Do we let others dictate our mood or whether we have a good day? Even those closest to us can feed into this lie. Has your significant other said anything about you so often that you have come to believe it yourself (good or bad)?
If those are all lies, then what is the truth? Who are you? The answer is simple but requires some self-discovery. You are who God says you are. Think and pray on that. Discover who it is God designed you to be, and then start becoming that person.