A few weeks ago, I got an email from a friend. The subject line read: “I love you, but . . .”
So, I quickly deleted it. Just kidding.
It was a criticism of a suggestion that I had made to a common acquaintance of ours.
I called my friend and said, “Don’t worry about it. My identity is not wrapped up in whether my opinions or suggestions are right or not. And if it is, it shouldn’t be.”
In spite of what I said, I know that I do often wrap up my identity in being right about even the most trivial things. I shouldn’t, but I do.
I fear that if I’m not right or don’t have a good suggestion, then I won’t be valuable.
The fact is that I need to see myself this way: I am a man who makes mistakes. That’s just part of the package that is me.
Not only do I try to imagine I don’t make mistakes, but I also try to build my identity on my successes: how well I did, how many friends I have, what people think of me, what I have achieved.
The trouble with our successes is that they are always open to questions like these: How much money do I have to make to be valuable? How big does my church have to be? How successful do my children have to be? How many home runs do I have to hit? How many degrees should I have? What if people don’t like me? Am I still valuable?
We need a better foundation for our identity than our successes. The Bible reveals that better foundation. Our identity should be built not on what we do or what we say but on what God thinks of us. Continue reading “An Identity More Secure than Our Greatest Successes”