We all have roles in life. Roles define what we do with our time and how we use our strengths and abilities. These responsibilities are important. We may be a child, a parent, a spouse, a friend, an employee, a member of a church, an athlete on a team, or a student. God has plans for our lives, and therefore has appointed various roles to each of us. Nothing is innately wrong with roles or responsibilities in life. But when we are overly attached to those roles, when our identity is overly connected to our responsibilities, then we are positioned for an emotional roller coaster. Maybe even an identity crisis.
Our roles and responsibilities will change. We will experience positive adjustments, such as a new baby, a wedding, a promotion, or a new friendship. We may also experience painful changes, such as a divorce, a layoff, infertility, the death of a family member, a geographical move that distances us from our friends and church family, or an injury. If we are overly attached to a role or responsibility prior to a transition, then we enter into the makings of a perfect storm—the onslaught of an identity crisis.
Remember, however, our roles or responsibilities in life are not the problem. Our inadvertent idolizing of those roles and attachment to those responsibilities bring destruction and open the door for a thief. This distinction is vitally important. If you feel anxiety about maintaining your roles or potentially transitioning from your responsibilities, then you have been distracted and conned by an unworthy thief.
Our roles in life are strictly vessels for accomplishing God’s will. We go outside His will when we allow those roles to define. Responsibilities in life will adjust with time and circumstance, but our identity is to be unchanging and stable. Immovable. Though our roles may differ, our measure of value and responsibility to the body is the same. God sees the value of our roles differently than we do. And, during a transition, rather than pouring out condemnation, He pours out compassion and restoration (Isaiah 54:4).
How would you answer the question, Who am I? What do you notice about how you answered? Is your answer heavily associated with your roles and responsibilities in life? If so, what is your attachment to those tasks? How do your attachments to those tasks impact your self-worth?