If I'm honest, I know that there are a couple of habits that I possess that some would say are...terribly annoying.
One is that I sing opera while I yawn.
Sometimes I don't change the toilet paper roll if I take the last piece.
Also, I'll take my socks off after a long day of work and accidentally lose them in the couch, so after a while the couch will kinda smell like my feet.
I can feel your judgement.
But probably THE MOST annoying thing I do is this: When I meet someone new and they ask me "What do you do?", I respond with "Well...(dramatic pause) I do a lot of things. I like to swim and go camping and play guitar. I like eating cheeseburgers and drinking coffee and spending time with friends. I also really enjoy... blah, blah, blah, etc., etc… (you get the point)."
Then, to be polite, they laughingly ask me what I do for work. I do my best to bring maturity back to the conversation but sometimes it’s too late.
But despite the annoyance and large amount of friends I've probably lost, I still consciously choose to respond to this question in this way.
“I do this so that I can fight against the temptation to make my job title the essence of my identity, while also reminding others that their titles don't make up theirs.”
“I do this so that I can fight against the temptation to make a job title the most important part of human existence, whether it's for me or others.”
Maybe it's a San Francisco thing, or maybe generational, or just our western world type of thinking, but titles hold a lot of weight in our culture. For many of us as soon as we get asked this question, our hope is that we will be seen as smart, unique, successful, or desirable. We also might feel ashamed of our title, always comparing ourselves to others or wishing we were further along. Alternatively, we then often extend a similar mini judgement towards others, sizing them up based off of the title or job they hold. First off, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of what you do, especially if it is something you have worked hard towards or are passionate about. But allowing it to determine your identity can be dangerous.
In this election season, as we anxiously anticipate a political candidate taking on the most significant job title in our nation's existence, I want us to take a moment today and remember both the titles of Jesus, and the titles He gives each of us. That if we shift our focus from job titles to spiritual titles, we will see ourselves, others, and our situations in the way God always intended.
Jesus is The Lamb, (John 1:29, Isaiah 53:7, 1 Cor 5:7) given to us as a sacrifice for the consequence of our sins and bridging the gap between us and God. Because of Jesus, we are able to live in a relationship with our creator and in the life He has set before us.
Jesus is The Prince of Peace, (Isaiah 9:6, John 16:33, Phi 4:7) who gives us peace that is beyond understanding, beyond our fears, beyond the weight of our world. It carries us when we are sad and leads us through temptation, knowing that Jesus has something good on the other side.
Jesus is Living Water, (John 4:13-15, Revelation 21:6, John 4), our source of life, not only from the beginning of time, but today, tomorrow, and forever. If you feel like you are thirsty for life, and everything you are trying isn't quenching that thirst, Jesus is here, ready to give you a drink.
Jesus is the King of Kings, (1 Timothy 6:15, Rev 1:5, Deu 10:17). The KING of ALLLL KINGS. His word and authority triumphs over any politician, party, or CEO you can think of. His ways are good and just, creating a holy nation and kingdom that each of us are a part of. Yes, we are Americans. But, way more importantly, we are citizens of the Kingdom of Jesus.
Now your titles...Say these to yourself out loud if needed.
You are a Child of God (John 1:12, 1 John 3:1, Romans 8:12-17), loved by a Father who cares for you and desires to spend all His time with you. He wants you to talk to Him, to invite Him into your struggles, to laugh and celebrate with you. You are His and He is Yours.
You are Wonderfully Made (Psalm 139, Genesis 1:27, Eph 2:10), carefully and joyfully created by the same God who created the Earth, the Universe, and life as we know it. He actively wants to show you your worth despite the negative things you think about yourself, your insecurities, and your failures. His goal is to bring you closer each day to understanding the way He sees you and others.
You are Forgiven (John 3:16, Eph 1:7, 1 John 1:9), no longer bound by your past mistakes. Jesus invites us each day to turn away from our own desires and step into the life He has for us. This offer never runs out. You are never too far from Him. He loves you and offers forgiveness right where you're at.
The list literally goes on and on and on. I highly suggest watching this video before you close this devotional. He is so many good things that any politician, boss or CEO could never be. And we are so many things that our own job titles and efforts could never dream of being. Sit in that truth today, and then learn how to live in it for tomorrow.
Love you Canvas fam.