In all honesty, I struggle with purpose. Yes, even though I started this blog in order to keep my time purposeful, I still find myself grasping for meaning most days. In fact, I can clean all day long, cook 3 meals from scratch, and keep up with blogging commitments, and still feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. Why the emptiness; what gives?
Right now, this appears to be my spiritual battle and I believe its rooted in my false conceptions about achievement and success. When I dug deeper into this misconception I realized that I had somehow misplaced my identity, again. Let me explain what I mean…
In our American culture we are often told that we can be anything we want. Essentially, our effort is directly related to our success; the harder we study or work, the farther we’ll go (I’m thankful to live in a society in which this is possible, don’t get me wrong). But, if I judge myself today on these standards, then I’ve failed – I’m unemployed, bordering on financial difficulty, and struggling with a nagging health issue…ugh! Accordingly, though, I should be able to get smarter and work harder and dig myself out of this hole.
Here’s why this standard of success shouldn’t be mine or any Christian’s:
“God didn’t call me to be successful. He called me to be faithful.” -Mother Teresa
A few years ago I came across this quote from Mother Teresa – it spoke to me! I redefined “success” to match a call in faithfulness to the Lord. And, for a while, I felt purposeful in my daily grind. Then life happened and a barrage of health issues and bills became my reality. Theoretically, my definition of success shouldn’t have changed. But, because I had new, unfamiliar pressures and circumstances, I reverted to what was familiar, my old standards.
What’s the point of this story? I think we as Christians need a better standard of success, one that is counter-cultural, but that keeps us grounded in Truth. I believe it starts with rooting our identities as children of God. Paul explains our process of adoption as God’s children in Romans:
“…You received God’s spirit when he adopted you as his own children…For his spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory…(Romans 8:15-17, NLT).”
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, our old life is crucified with Christ and we are given new life in His resurrection (Galatians 2:20). Furthermore, Jesus said, “…I came that [you] may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).” To have life abundantly means we are free to fully live this new life in faith, anchoring our identities in Him rather than in our cultural standards; we are free to find purpose in our daily grind because we are living for Him, through Him.
Rather than determining our identity based on success and achievement (like me), let’s make sure our identity is rooted in our determination to live in faith.
Let’s chat – how do you keep your identity rooted in Christ? Leave me a note in the comments below.
This post has been shared with Lyli Dunbar’s Thought-Provoking Thursdays link-up