The month of January is connected to new beginnings, resolutions to do better, do more, do less, or do something different than you’ve done in the past. Social media hollers: “Make this your best year ever!” That’s a lot of pressure. But according to the ads I see, dramatic weight loss, toned abs, career boosting greatness, and world peace apparently are waiting.
I saw this quote recently: “Someone busier than you is making it happen!” It’s a frantic reminder I’m falling behind on my to-do list; someone is beating me to it! As though it (whatever it may be) is in limited supply and only the first 25 on-the-ball doers can snatch the prize. It’s not true.
The pressure is magnified by Facebook. You’ve seen the posts: “I signed up for three online courses guaranteed to advance my career. That promotion is locked in!” Or “I did XXX at the gym today. Totally pumped!” I’m so far out of the gym loop, I don’t even know what the XXX would be.
Please don’t misunderstand. I believe progress toward goals are worth the time, and when you move forward, you deserve to celebrate. I’m a to-do list girl. I love checking off the boxes. But are they the right boxes?
Interestingly, January is also official “National Be on Purpose Month.” I don’t think there’s a parade or a pageant, but it’s a thing. Please note the wording in the official title: “be” not “do.”
Why is that significant? Because as His children, who God called us to be is more important than anything we could ever do without clarity on that single point.
Who has He called you to be? It’s about identity. We’re hearing a lot about it these days, but what is it?
The Oxford Dictionary describes identity as: “The fact of being who or what a person is.” Another from Merriam Webster is helpful: “The qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group differ from others.”
Identity theft is common these days, and I’m not talking about someone hijacking your debit card PIN. The Fallen One is all about stealing what the Lord has given us. (John 10:10). If he can talk us out of who God designed us to be, we may adopt an identity and work to invent ourselves. And often, we do it as an imitation of someone we admire. So instead of living as the genuine article, the one and only you, we become a cheap knock off of someone else.
Author Ken Boa is on target: “Scripture clearly teaches that we were never meant to be autonomous individuals who make our own way in this world apart from God. We cannot even know ourselves without knowing the One through whom and for whom we were created.”
God’s imprint for us is unique. He knew us before He formed us in our mother’s womb and set us apart. (Jeremiah 1:5). And deep in our spirit, we know that’s true. Even when we’ve achieved the success and accolades we’ve worked so hard for, we’re often surprised at the emptiness we experience at the finish line. Authentic identity is powerful, releasing freedom that can’t be duplicated.
We need to protect ourselves against identity theft. He created, crafted, designed, and fashioned each of us, calling us on purpose for a (particular) purpose. I struggle less with this now than ever before, but it’s a daily vigil. And Holy Spirit is invited to tap on my heart when I stray. I keep Him busy some days.
Are you becoming His genuine article? Or are you busy doing good things?
“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), created in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].” Ephesians 2:10 (AMP)
Deb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship and conflict resolution. A writer and popular professional speaker, Deb focuses on topics related to the family and women. Kregel Publications released her first book in November 2013 entitled, Related by Chance, Family by Choice. Abingdon Press published I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last in June 2015 and Don’t Go to Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight in June 2016. Read Deb at Family Matters/Deb DeArmond and My Purpose Now.