Guest post in the Shoulder to Shoulder Identity and Purpose Series
I’m every woman. It’s all in me. Whether you know the Chaka Khan or Whitney Houston version of that song or neither, you’ve no doubt been exposed to the idea that your identity is based on performance. If I’m transparent, the days I seem to pull off a supernatural feat of completing my to-do lists for my different roles, I feel pretty good about myself. I’m good! I’m doing it! But if I fail at 2 or 3 of those items and someone notices, I feel a little uneasy about myself. I begin to doubt, and if I’m not good at these roles, if I fail, then who am I?
This is a good place to get my eyes off myself and back on God where they belong. We love to cling to verses that tell us about ourselves, but void of Whom makes them important, they are meaningless. No one talks about the paintbrushes Michelangelo used to paint the Sistine Chapel. They are in awe of his work and talent. And if he used paintbrushes that were missing half of the bristles to complete his task, how much more glory would he get for his ability? “Wow! He made that with those? He’s amazing!” The Scriptures point us to God who uses those exact paintbrushes to make beautiful things.
Ephesians 1 and 2 tell us that it is to his praise and glory that we can call ourselves “chosen”, “God’s possessions”, “his body”, “his workmanship”. That speaks to our identity. Our purpose is to bring him glory through all that we’re about in our day to day. What does that say about God? That he is abounding in grace and kindness (Ephesians 2:7) to give someone flawed a job in his kingdom. God chose me while I was standing in active defiance to him (Romans 5:10, Ephesians 2:5), and he’s empowering me to do his good works despite myself (Ephesians 2:10, 22). Remembering what he says about himself and who I am because of him, I can go about my work confident that good day or bad, it’s not all up to me; it’s all in him.
Joanna Pack serves at Brookstone on the Shoulder to Shoulder ministry team, in the nursery, and alongside her husband, Steve, in the Brookstone Counseling ministry as a licensed mental health counselor. She is currently basking in the knowledge of Ephesians 1:14 that guarantees God’s continued commitment and faithfulness in her life.
Over the next few weeks we will hear from other women on how we can live out our identity and purpose in our relationships, church, and culture as a lead up to our INSPIRE event, February 19th at our Weaverville campus. We hope you will be encouraged!