In addition to a critical need for love and acceptance, we have a God-placed need to be viewed as an individual with inherent worth. We can also phrase it as a need to establish an identity…to be known as someone who is distinct and special.
We begin satisfying this need from an early age by differentiating ourselves from our siblings and friends. We are the oldest, the youngest, the only son or daughter. We are a member of a certain family…the pastor’s child or the doctor’s daughter.
As beings created in the image of God, we should derive our sense of identity and worth from God. However, as we transition into adulthood, we often substitute other things for our identity such as our family or our various gifts.
For many of us, our career becomes our source of identity and worth.
Within the healthcare profession, the temptation to make our professional career our source of identity and worth is especially strong because our profession is viewed with a level of esteem greater than many other occupations.
Rather than being a Christian who happens to be a physician, we become a physician who happens to be a Christian.
The difference is profound.
Because this is a God-placed critical need, we will naturally pour significant time and effort into establishing and maintaining our identity and worth. When we draw that identity and worth from something other than our relationship to God, we dedicate that time and effort toward something other than God.
Put another way…our misplaced sense of identity and worth becomes an idol.
As we pour our time and effort into an identity outside of Christ, we increasingly separate ourselves from our true identity…a son or daughter of the living God.
Take some time today to carefully think through this issue. Ask yourself…do I derive my sense of worth as a person because I am created in the image of God, or do I derive my sense of worth from what I do in this world?
Tomorrow we will begin looking closer at how this impacts our walk with Jesus.
Prayer: Lord as I reflect on these truths, show me how I derive my sense of identity and worth.