A few years ago my heart rate slowed significantly, so my local General Practitioner sent me to my heart doctor who explained that there are two kinds of heart doctors - plumbers and electricians. He - a plumber - said I needed an electrician. The electrician rewired my heart and installed a pacemaker. Now my heart beats at a stable sixty two beats per minute.
This incident caused me to think, “What is our world coming to?” We live in an age of specialization, but specialization can be carried to the extreme. A generalist knows a little bit about a lot of things, while a specialist knows a lot about a few things. Specialization - taken to its extreme - can lead to one who knows absolutely everything about nothing. On the other side of the spectrum is the one who knows nothing about everything. People get a lot of their personal identity from their areas of specialization.
A few days after the pacemaker installation - thinking about specialization - a thought arose that I had not considered in years. “What do I want to be when I grow up?” Finding my true identity has always been a goal. What you desire to become is all about your true identity.
- Do you have a specialty – something that you are far better at than anything else in your life?
- What is it that you are far better at than most of those around you? You might call it your identity?
- Do you know what God created you for? Each person alive today has a unique combination of skills, talents, attitudes and personalities which were given to him or her to fulfill their role here on earth.
If you are not rooted properly in your personal identity, it can be a fleeting thing. Psychologists explain that our identity comes to us from the people around us. They are like little mirrors reflecting back to us an image of our identity.
Well-meaning friends, family, and teachers will cause us to lose our God-given identity as they try to impose a new identity on us. As a high school sophomore, the school superintendent told me I would make a great electrical engineer. That became my identity and it was confirmed by others. So I bought into it and went to an engineering school, but was never totally sold on the idea. Well-meaning people will often impose their ideas on us.
If we lack confidence in who we are, we see ourselves as others see us. These others are often identity thieves. They can steal our identity.
Who are they?
- · Well-meaning friends and family who encourage us to seek the wrong career because they think you will be good at it.
- · Music teachers who tell a second grader they cannot sing.
- · Parents who try to mold their child into their own likeness
- · Politicians who define people as victims
- · Etc.
Identity theft is a huge thing today with literally billions of dollars being lost through identity theft. Even more devastating is the theft of one’s personal identity which has been the cause of illness, suicide and emotional damage.
How do we get our identity back? An old story illustrates our point.
A master artist created a portrait masterpiece. It was so perfect that it was placed in a museum for all to see. Then the masterpiece was stolen and lost for many years. One day, as an old mansion was being torn down, the painting was discovered. It was no longer a masterpiece. Now it was covered with dirt, ripped in a few places, and its colors were faded.
The artist’s signature was intact so people realized it was that lost masterpiece, but none could remember what it had looked like. Several restoration experts attempted to bring forth its original beauty, but all failed. It was then the master artist, the one who had created the painting in the first place, came forward and transformed the ugly wreck of a painting, back to its original state.
Obviously God is the master artist Who created us. He is the only one who can clean us up and restore us to the person we were created to be.
Our identity comes from Him.
How have you discovered God's call on your life? Send us a comment.