“What do you do?” is a common question that we are all asked. We almost always respond with our job title and for what company we work. We then go on to have a conversation about our work. Few will respond to the question with, “I am a husband, a father, a Sunday School Teacher, a reader, a runner, a foodie, etc.” Nope, we are geared to think about work and our jobs as the defining moniker of who we are. This is why it is so hard to retire or to lose our jobs; because we are surrounded by the message of work being the definition of who we are. I personally went through this back in 2008 and I can’t tell you that I am still totally over it yet. Having a crisp, clear title and company answer always seems so much easier. But, that is why we are supposed to continue to dig into ourselves and know who we are so that our jobs and our self-esteem and identity don’t become the same. We are not alone in this feeling. Even the Disciples couldn’t separate the work they were to do from who they really were. In John 6:28 they asked Jesus; “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Even the Disciples were trying to use their work to define who they were in the eyes of Jesus. Jesus answered them in verse 29: “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” This verse again tells us that it is not what we do, it is deeper than that. It is who we are and what we believe that matters. I am pretty sure that we won’t be wearing company badges in Heaven that identifies what our jobs on earth were. How much fuller our lives might be if we were able to answer the question, “What do you do?” with something that doesn’t involve our work. Let’s try and make that second and instead find our identity in our purpose and how we do things, and what we believe, and not be defined or classified by what we do. If we can move ourselves to that space we may find that the fear of losing a job, the insecurities of not being promoted into the bigger title, or the amount of pride and ego wrapped up in the company that employs us, just might all dissipate into something much more meaningful.
Reference: John 6:28-29 (NKJV)