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Don’t Find Your Identity In Your Work

Don’t Find Your Identity In Your Work

Proverbs 16:13 “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

Today we are going to talk about vocation. Vocation is defined as “a particular occupation, business, or profession; calling. A strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.” It can be closely related to our career or profession. But vocation takes it a step further. 

A career or a profession is something that you have to support yourself and to contribute in some way to the good of the society. You don’t need to believe in God to choose a career or a profession. A person can pick, select and switch profession freely depending on his/her preferences, strengths or circumstances.

When we talk about vocation, we look vertical and ask: What would God have me do? What are my unique gifts? How can I impact the world? In our culture, particularly in the North American church, vocation and success are put up on a pedestal. Most of us long for joy and purpose in our daily work and success as a result of our labor.

But what does it look like to live out a life of satisfaction and fulfillment in our daily work in a culture that is primarily driven by success? If we are never recognized for the good work we are are doing, does that mean we chose the wrong path?

Many men often are faced with the question: did I miss my vocation?

How do I find a job that will give me the identity I want? The Gospel says no job will provide me with the identity I want, when in fact the only identity that will ever satisfy or truly fulfill me, is found in Christ. How can I know that I matter, that I am beloved, and the decisions and positions that I take matter in the real world, apart from work?

All these questions matter. And so does our labor.

But what if we were instead to come to these questions enacting our true identity. What if we came to work ready, being already content in who we are. Not longing for a false identity that we think work will provide to us.

Mark Labberton, President of Fuller Seminary put it best when he said in an interview “The measure of success in our culture is find your vocation and become a success. But how the Bible would talk about vocation is; find your vocation and live with faithful abandonment to the grace and mercy of God.”

About the Author: Sam Casey is the Managing Partner at Banyan Creative.

 

5 Comments

  1. Larry

    I agree with all of this. Life is about relationships, and our influence with people (to know the Lord and live in His grace) is what we should be about as men. I have not always thought this way, but I know the Lord is working His good pleasure through my life (home and work). The interesting thing is….ALL of my needs are met! Through Him, I am successful!

    Reply
  2. Anne

    Im not a man but the article is applicable to me as well. Thanks

    Reply
  3. Joey

    Proverbs 16:3*

    Reply
  4. John Booker

    Another word for Vocation in this context may be “Calling”.
    2 Peter 1:10
    “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;”
    God has “called” and gifted us for work He has for us, and when we discover that, not only do we “make a difference “ with our lives in this world, but people see and honor God, who they acknowledge to be in us.

    Reply

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