Identity

On days like today I need reminding where my identity lies.

Today has been much like any other day this year. I got up, showered, dressed, ate breakfast came into college. I stumbled through my tutorial, enjoyed a chapel service and morning tea, sat through a lecture and after a lunch chatting with others, benefited from a seminar from some other students who are physios and generously gave us some tips and tricks to prevent neck and back problems. This afternoon I will study in the library, then go home and make dinner, probably do some reading after dinner and go to bed.

In many ways it has been a very ordinary day (although I must admit I am usually more alert during my classes), but a few benign conversations and events have left doubts of inadequacy running through my head. Things like ‘I couldn’t do a lecture on medicine for other students, I haven’t been a doctor long enough and I don’t really know anything useful to teach,’ ‘I don’t have a lot to contribute in the realm of theology either, I haven’t even finished one year of study,’ ‘I’m never going to be much use professionally.’ ‘I’d really love to be a part of ….’s life but they don’t seem to reach out to me,’ ‘I feel so guilty for not having called … I really care about her but just don’t seem to have the time right now,’ ‘I’m never going to get these assignments done, and then I have exams, how will I get through?’

It’s days like today that I need reminding where my identity lies.

It’s not the first, and no doubt won’t be the last time I’ve been tempted to listen to that voice that tells me my worth is based in my profession, my knowledge, my ability to be a friend, wife or successful student. I also know that I am not alone, lots of people have these doubts and thoughts that run through their head. What we need to hear though is not that we are worthwhile in these areas (although it may be true) but I think what we need to be reminded of is where our identity lies:

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
-2 Cor. 5:17

My identity, worth and reason for being lie in my identity in Christ. That is why I get out of bed each day and that is why I will press onwards. It is in Christ that I can and will find hope.

About Gillian

  • Paul

    Agreed. Look at the number of “successful” people who go to seed once they retire!

    But Grace offers a sense of worth that is independent of our age, health, employability or talent. According to Matthew 20:1–16 any labourer who accepts the invitation to work in the vineyard, no matter how late in the day, will receive an equal reward with those who have been faithful the longest.

    So who are the 11th-hour workers in our day? We usually think of deathbed converts etc. but at a deeper level we are all 11th-hour workers. We are all honoured guests, regardless of our “success” or years of “experience”. And we can be proud of that.

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