Success and True Identity

These thoughts came out of a few weeks of buying into the temptations of the world. I found myself thinking about how I let my identity in Christ slip into seeking my identity from people and things. Asking myself some really hard questions and then letting the Holy Spirit speak allowed me to navigate my confusion.

Why do I work?
Where is my value?
Who cares about what I do everyday?
Why do I need to be successful?
Why do I need to win?
Why do I have an issue being less than others?
Why do I need to always need praise from superiors?
Why do I always need to be the best?
Why are goals, money, and success a motivator for me?
Why do I care so much about my net worth?

Since I graduated from college my business experience has been incredible – a complete answer to many prayers. Recently, I’ve found myself feeling empty and somewhat purposeless. I want so much more out of my daily life. I have big goals for myself….and I usually accomplish them when I put my mind to it. A visionary at heart, I don’t care much for the details so I push myself for big accomplishments.

At my core, worldly lies tempt me to be the guy that everyone wants to be like. Wealthy, successful, a leader, and wonderfully superb communicator. If I’m brutally honest with myself, my career goals are to accumulate money, titles, success, and approval….I think about those things more than I should. I talk a good talk and tell people that I want to help them, but I have an issue when I’m not “the best”. I rate my value based on the praise that I receive from people around me.

All of this can be consuming and create a fake worldview that forces me down a path that I never wanted to step foot on. Maybe I’m idealistic, but I always thought that I was the best, always had the newest, always won, always had the most. Sometimes this was true, and when it was, I got so much self worth out if it that its scary. I’d take all the credit in my mind and make myself feel important, wanted, and successful. (Even if it wasn’t true.)

My inner being crumbles when I’m not the leader, picked to lead a project, or praised for doing something that I thought was pretty incredible. My brain tells me that my value is in how I perform and what others think and say about me….my heart knows that this is a lie. I’m constantly in a battle. If I’m truly honest with myself, I think way more about why I’m not the leader than how I can help other people succeed.

Encouragement from people around me makes me feel like I can do anything. I view this encouragement as success. My day can go from great to terrible if I don’t receive the praise that I feel I’m due. I can buy into the lie that my identity is wrapped up in what people think about me…not what God says about me.

Being honest with myself is hard, yet at times, I know that the words I say don’t match the thoughts I think. My Identity can be so wrapped up in not letting others down, not being successful, feeling like I don’t have enough money, not getting the next promotion, not being picked for the next project, that I stop thinking about what is truly important. I buy into lies and allow myself to let everyone else to define my worth.

I let my inner identity get all wrapped up in my performance and net worth. My grading scale seems to only have one option and that is to be better than everyone else. I think about my current full-time job and compare how I’m doing with others around me. I allow myself to think…”You are so awesome, people love you for what you have accomplished”. My perceived value can often times be so wrapped up in things of this world that it makes me sick. I’ve completely missed the point when I’m not focused on what really matters.

In my head, I know that my identity is in Jesus and that I serve him alone. It’s there in my brain, but my heart often times completely rejects that thought. I tell people that my identity is in Jesus, but when I think about how I act on a daily basis, sometimes all I serve is money, success, and people. I never act like all this stuff is so important, but I’m always comparing, always trying measure up, and trying to match what the world thinks I should be.

I learned at an early age that I shouldn’t care what other people think or say about me – I should only care what God says about me. He says he loves me and will protect me and provide for me. I get so afraid of being a complete failure in the world’s eyes and this causes me to make decisions that keep me safe, secure, and normal. Worldly security is so damn bogus, I can say that my real identity and security sit with Jesus, but my thoughts and actions push me in the opposite direction.

My head and my heart are always going to be at war in this world that seems to make comfort, security, and success so appealing.

God is my Savior and that won’t ever change. Fear, lies, and things of this world will one day pass away. Right now, I’m on a journey where I don’t want to go through the motions. I need to allow my heart to defeat my mind. Allowing myself to have regrets is going to suck and I can’t let myself buy into the B.S. of this world.

I’ve been called to step out and break free of normalcy. No more fake reality. Jesus is all that matters and my everlasting identity and future is with Him. He will never let me down or turn his back on me. He is King and his Kingdom is all I should care about. I choose to turn away from the lies of the world. I’m His boy and He loves me.