We’re often known for what we do – the gifts we offer to the world. And at the same time, we’re more than just our gifts. But our gifts remain an important aspect of our identity.
For instance, a runner is known for his ability to run. But there’s much more to him than simply this ability to run. And we miss the depths of his soul when we reduce him to merely being a runner. But we also miss him when we dismiss or otherwise diminish his gift of running. God created him with this gift and it is part of his identity.
And the same is true for each of us.
God has given us each the ability to do certain things well. And there’s great delight whenever others affirm this gift, which often comes through the identities given to us – the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker.
Our identities help to validate the gifts God has given us to serve the world around us.
But, inasmuch as we want our gifts to be seen and validated by others, we still want to be seen and validated for who we are beyond our gifts. We feel used and taken advantage of when others seek us out just for the gifts we offer to them.
There’s more to us than our gifts. This is something we must remember ourselves even as we invite others into a fuller appreciation of who we are as well.
Still, this is not to deny our gifts. We can feel just as lonely and misunderstood when friends and family can affirm every part of us except that unique glory God has given us to reveal.
Somehow we must hold this tension that our gifts are part of our identity, but not exclusively. We’re known in part through our gifts, while there’s much more to us than just our gifting.
In the end, rest in your gift and the identity that comes from this, while also staying open to the fullness of who God has created you to be beyond your particular gifting.