HUMBLE: WHO ARE YOU?
A Habit of Self-Discovery: Know Who You Are
Developing a habit of self-discovery means creating intentional rhythms whereby one observes who he is, listens to his life, and strives to define himself apart from his professional assignments. This habit helps a leader connect to an organization without being consumed by it. While it may not seem pragmatic, it is vital. Unless one is rooted in his identity, he can never become a change maker.
At an early age, Moses had what pastor Rick Warren classifies “an identity crisis.”* He was born a Hebrew and raised an Egyptian, born a slave and raised a noble.
Moses was tempted to forsake his Hebrew heritage and pretend to be Egyptian through and through. This would have certainly been a good career move. But God’s providence and wisdom had made Moses a Hebrew. And the soon-to-be liberator couldn’t forsake that. Even more, he couldn’t ignore the Egyptians’ unjust treatment of his countrymen and cousins.
But an often-missed verse about Moses—located in the New Testament rather than the Old, no less—teaches us something powerful about the importance of identity.
Hebrews 11:24 says, “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.”
At first, one might assume this was as a brazen act of ingratitude. Pharaoh’s daughter not only saved Moses’ life; she made it better than he could have ever attained on his own. How could he turn his back on a woman—the only mother he ever knew—who had given him so much?
But when one considers the culture, the situation becomes clear. In ancient cultures such as this, one’s ethnicity and nationality were a central building block of one’s identity. So for Moses to live as Pharaoh’s grandson would mean choosing a false identity in pursuit of greater influence. He decides instead to own his true identity, and as often happens, the decision leads to even greater influence.
Reflecting on this, Warren says, “Be yourself. Don’t try to be somebody else. God made you for a purpose; he made you for a plan. There’s nobody who can be you except you.”*
Your sense of identity will help determine your scale of influence. Ignore it at your own peril.
* Rick Warren, “Identity Crisis: Just Be You,” May 21, 2014, Daily Hope with Rick Warren, http://rickwarren.org/devotional/english/identity-crisis-just-be-you#.U54nCRb6dbw.