“By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8
When two strangers meet and exchange handshakes and names, the inevitable first question is “So, what do you do?” A professional athlete might respond with, “I’m a linebacker for the Ravens.” A businessperson might reply, “I’m the VP of Sales for ABC Corporation.”
Most of us usually identify ourselves or describe our lives by the roles we play, by how we spend our days, and by the kind of work we do. Because we assume that activity equals identity, we say things like, “Oh, I’m just a stay-at-home mom to five kids,” or “I’m a junior at Lincoln High School.” While such labels and self-descriptions are not technically untrue, they have very little to do with who we really are. This is because
One of the awesome teachings of the Christian faith is that we are not defined by what we do. Our identity is rooted in the everlasting God who made us, not in the things we make (careers, families, mistakes, etc.). As the One who designed us, God is the One who defines us. Before (and after) we are anything else, we are redeemed people who are beloved creatures of God—made by Him and for Him, built for His glory.
This means for the athlete, sport is not his or her life. For the mom, family is not her life. For the businessperson, career is not his or her life. Life—real life, abundant life, eternal life—comes only from God. He is our life. He names us and tells us who we are. He gives us value and purpose. Our worth and identity come from Him, not from anything we do or fail to do.
Remember today that your life is not defined by your ability in sports, devotion to your family, or success in a career. Your identity isn’t money, possessions, achievements, or the approval of others. God created you to know, to love, to serve, and to be satisfied in Him.
When you acknowledge God as your life, you start to really live!
Lord, You created me and gave me breath to live. Help me to remember that I exist because of You, God. You are the God of my life. Help me to live out this truth today. Amen.
This blog post is adapted from my upcoming book 100 Names of God Daily Devotional. You can learn more about it here.