August 10, 2022

You Are Not What You Do

I listened to an acquaintance clarify her member of the family’s profession change, virtually apologizing that he hasn’t determined what his life’s occupation needs to be. As somebody who has additionally switched careers, I understood his conundrum, however not her apologetic feedback.

The place will we get the concept we have to decide one job and stick with it without end? There are advantages, in fact, to staying in the identical discipline for years and even a long time, however the place God calls us to spend our energies could change. We aren’t outlined by our careers. Or are we?

Religious add-ons

The ladies’ Bible research I assist lead at church completed finding out Galatians a number of weeks in the past. I’m at all times amazed by how far more I acquire from a Bible passage or guide after I decelerate and research it, particularly with a gaggle. I’m positive I’ve learn Galatians a number of occasions, and possibly even heard some sermons on it. However I really feel a lot extra conversant in the guide after a number of weeks of speaking about every part with a number of preteen women.

Principally, the apostle Paul apprehensive that the Galatians had been listening to false academics who insisted they mix religion in Christ with Previous Testomony Jewish legal guidelines. The guide of Galatians showcases a few of Paul’s strongest language as he railed in opposition to church members who had been rating one thing — even a superb one thing — above or equal to Christ. Time and again, he apprehensive in regards to the “extras” they had been tacking onto their religion and placing their belief in. The Galatians outlined themselves by their adherence to spiritual legal guidelines — legal guidelines that Jesus had already fulfilled for them.

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No finger-pointing right here

You is probably not making an attempt so as to add to the necessities for salvation, however are you defining your self primarily by one thing apart from Christ? Are any of those classes the place you discover your predominant id?

Relationship standing.

Single. Relationship. Engaged. Married. It’s really easy to present these descriptors outsized significance, and it doesn’t assist that many of the world appears to group us by these classes. Attend the singles group at church? Going to a {couples} occasion? But when in Christ there isn’t any slave and free, not even female and male, however all are one — then the identical is actually true for singles and marrieds.


“What do you do?” is without doubt one of the first questions we ask folks we’ve simply met, and we’re not asking what they love to do for enjoyable or how they have a good time holidays. We’re asking what folks do from 8 to five on Mondays by way of Fridays. We group ourselves by career and even make first impressions of others primarily based on their occupations. Actually, our professions are an enormous a part of our lives, and we’re all affected by the work we do day in and day trip. However is who we’re actually wrapped up in our job titles on LinkedIn? I feel not.


Highschool observe document. Frisbee championship title. A accomplished Goodreads booklist. Encyclopedic information of all Marvel Avengers films. We take pleasure in any of these items. A fast scan by way of some Guinness World Information proves that we people will actually invent issues to excel at. There’s one thing in us that naturally desires to take pleasure in what we will do higher than different folks. However irrespective of what number of push-ups we will do or what number of hula hoops we will…hula?…and even what number of pencils we will break in a minute, these accomplishments don’t outline us. Actually? If any of these items do outline us, that’s simply unhappy.

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Our skill (or try) to build up wealth is usually one thing that journeys us up. It’s foolish, actually. Consider all God has made and is sovereign over: not solely the cattle on a thousand hills, however the krill and jellyfish of 352 quintillion gallons of ocean water (I Googled it). The celebs of unknown gentle years of galaxies and photo voltaic programs. But we pleasure ourselves on accumulating cash or vehicles or costly garments?


What do folks consider me? Do they keep in mind that embarrassing fake pas from final week’s assembly? Did they discover I misspelled my very own identify in that electronic mail? Do my footwear seem like I purchased them in one other decade? There’ll at all times be somebody who disapproves of one thing about us. If we let folks resolve what defines us, we’ll at all times be guessing. Humorous, I feel Paul even mentioned one thing about people-pleasing particularly.

A lifetime of freedom

What does it seem like to maintain these secondary components of their place?

As in lots of areas of the Christian life, calls to obey are actually calls to freedom. In every space the place we demote our secondary pursuits and traits to their rightful place, we discover deeper freedom from a few of the worries and fears that pester us.

Ever really feel like a failure at work? You aren’t outlined by your skill, accomplishments, or lack of each.

Really feel distant from mates due to differing relationship statuses? You — and your mates — will not be outlined by singleness, relationship or marriage.

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Marvel if the folks round you suppose poorly of you? Actually — and that is simpler mentioned than accepted — their opinions actually don’t matter. If you’re in Christ, your id is sealed it doesn’t matter what opinion anybody holds about you.

Reward God that the guide of Galatians continues to be for us at the moment, reminding us that we aren’t what we do, strive, or fail to perform.

We’re saved by Christ, not by Christ plus circumcision or good works or non secular adherence or anything. And we’re outlined first — first! — and most significantly by what Christ has finished in us and for us. All the things else? Simply secondary.

Copyright 2022 Lauren Dunn. All rights reserved.