What makes you feel satisfied? What makes you feel appreciated? What makes you feel loved, accepted, needed? What makes you feel fulfilled?
For me, that thing is work. I love my job. I love what I get to do every day. I love the people I work with. Honestly, there’s not really much that I don’t like about it. I love when I know that I’ve done a good job, when I know that I have completed the task with excellence and diligence. I love that I get to continuously improve my skills and that I have the opportunity to get better every day. I love that I am needed. I love knowing that what I do actually matters. I hear "well done" and "good job". I am encouraged and appreciated for what I do. And I am satisfied in that.
And I have to tell you…this is an absolute dream! NEVER in a million years did I ever imagine anything like this…ever! I mean, come on…Forbes reported that 70% of employees hate their jobs, and CBS News reported that 84% of workers are looking to leave their jobs. That doesn’t say a whole lot for job satisfaction these days! And to have a job that I love…to have a job that I actually look forward to going to every day? What a gift this is! I am so filled with gratitude every time I think about it!
But here’s the thing…
Over the past week or so, I’ve discovered something that has really caused me to stop and reevaluate some things.
See, for a few months, I had gotten to the point where I was working way too many hours each week. I didn’t mind because I loved what I was doing, which is why it took me so long to even see what was happening. It wasn’t that I had too much work to do…it was that I had too much time to fill. At the time, I was going through kind of an anti-social phase, and I would go to work, and then go home and lock myself in my room and work some more.
When I was working, I was happy. I felt good about myself. I was satisfied. But when I wasn’t working, I was terribly unhappy. I felt insecure. I felt unneeded…unwanted, even.
This went on for quite a while, but I couldn’t see it. All I knew was that my life was like a roller coaster. I blamed it on PMS, lack of sleep, and just the little things that happen in daily life.
But then one day last week, I was driving home from work and I heard something so clearly in my spirit. "Don’t you know who you are?"
My first thought was, ‘Of course I do. What kind of question is that?’ But then I heard it again. "Don’t you know who you are?"
And then something else dropped into my spirit: "You are not your work."
I started to really search that out. I asked the Lord to show me what that means, to help me know who I am. And He did show me. It was like I could see the past several months from the outside. I could see the times I was happy and the times I was not, and I coud see where the transition was. I could see it all. I saw my satisfaction in my work. I saw my lack of satisfaction everywhere else.
And here’s what I learned…
I love my work. My work makes me feel fulfilled and satisfied. It makes me feel appreciated and needed. It makes me feel valued and important. But my work has become my safe place. It has become the place I find my worth, my value, and my identity.
And when you find your worth, your value, and your identity in your work, you continuously strive for perfection. You are afraid to make a mistake. You are afraid to fail. You are afraid to disappoint, because if you do not perform, your worth, your value, and your identity are suddenly diminished. What happens when your work does not reach the standard you have set for yourself? You, as a person, become less valuable based on the evaluation of your performance.
If who you are is determined by what you do, chances are it will also be determined by how well you do it. And this, my friend, leaves your identity in the hands of your own fragile humanity.
So I have a question for you…
Where do you find your identity? In your work? In what others say about you? Your friends? Your family? Your reputation? Your academics? Your hobbies? Your weaknesses? Your addictions? Your struggles?
Don’t you know who you are??
- I am created in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27)
- I am a child of God. (John 1:12)
- I am no longer a slave, but a child and an heir. (Galatians 4:7)
- I have been accepted by Christ. (Romans 15:7)
- I am part of the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:27)
- I was bought with a price. (1 Corinthians 6:20)
- I have been justified and redeemed. (Romans 3:24)
- I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of God. (Ephesians 1:7)
- I am a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Because of God’s mercy and love, I have been made alive with Christ. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
- I am chosen to be holy and blameless before Him. (Ephesians 1:4)
- I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:3)
- God has a plan for me. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Friend, don’t you know who you are?