“Hi, My name is Julie and I am a recovered workaholic.” [This is where you say in a long drawl, “Hi, Julie…”]. Thank you for the canned, monotone welcome. A good portion of my former career in the banking industry revolved around the performance of “Proofs and Certifications” and developing/writing policies and procedures for audits. The main purpose of these tasks is to prove the control of associated risk to ever-changing banking functions and proving operating excellence to care for the assets of the bank. The idea is to expose and minimize loss that could potentially happen through error and/or embezzlement, etc. When procedural processes are compromised, potential loss is more likely to become a reality. The thought of an “auditor” may evoke some subconscious fear or just scream, “BORING!” within you. However, I wear my flashing NERD button proudly and it is a fair assumption that I am probably now in this moment being silently tortured by some “T” that has not been crossed or an “I” that is not dotted. I loved my job and it became who I was; my identity. I took pride in my career and the respect I felt I received from my associates. I did not become a workaholic because I was “in my zone”, doing what I loved and was made for. Workaholism was simply born out of my addiction to keep on proving my own significance and worth over and over and over; ultimately not having a firm, solid stance on the foundation of who I am in Christ and the true purpose I was made for.
Have you ever asked and answered yourself, “What am I out to prove?” If you were to be honest with yourself, is it your personal best…your significance…your worth…your beauty…your strength and resilience…or is it the greatness of our God?
Most of us operate in or strive to be in some type of proving zone whether we realize it or not. Our culture idolizes being “in the zone” to prove something to others or ourselves. Athletes no doubt feel exhilarated when they hit the mark of the proving zone by their dance in the end zone after a touchdown, the smugness of the jog around the bases after the ball met the sweet spot of the bat for a home run the warrior yell after a goal is made or the victory arms in the air when the finish line is crossed. Gym rats feel accomplished and satisfied when they attain and maintain a strong and beautiful physique to perhaps prove their health and desirability. Businesses desire to operate in the black zone versus the red zone to prove their net worth and success. Scientists yearn to prove their theory and revel in the zone of a breakthrough or “being right”.
True followers of Christ seek to always be in the zone of God’s presence…to know and experience the real proof of Who God is…and to always know who we are in Christ through His eyes. There is no second-guessing our significance and worth there. It is certain, once and for all. God does not seek to prove that we were worth Him finding because of our being great people doing things well. No, our weaknesses attract God’s power and therefore through our exposed shortcomings we prove God’s greatness to the watching world. Our universal purpose is to glorify God in all we do.
“…everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Isaiah 43:7
“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31b
Just as loss occurring when established methods or processes are ignored, cut short or broken…compromising our obedience to God’s commands (and that includes rest and a Sabbath day) will lead to some measure of loss. I came to understand the priority of my identity in Christ as being PRIMARY through God disciplining me with the love of a parent, as my Heavenly Father. He had seen a few small compromises stacking up in my walk with the Lord that had me tip-toeing farther away from Him and toward the edge of the cliff. Warnings that I was neglecting my family and putting my work first; that I was fulfilling my emotional need elsewhere, apart from God or my husband; that I was trying to please others for my own benefit, etc were repeatedly ignored. The Lord needed to come down with a heavier hand of correction for my own protection. He needed to strip me of everything that I leaned on for significance and worth other than Him. For me this came in the form of a violent car crash happening. One that He proved Himself as protector of my life still to the amazement of the first-responders at how minimal my injuries were to what they should have been. However, I would still become disabled from that crash, lose my career, significantly injure our financial security and crush the dreams of all we wanted to do in our brand new home we had just bought a year earlier. The more flesh-driven things He strips away, the more exposed the naked core of our being becomes…and therein lies pure beauty.
At the core of all of our beings is a child of God in need of our Father. He created us and He sustains us and our dependence on Him brings Him all the glory for all that we accomplish. That identity is the ONLY one that you will carry with you into eternity! Set out to prove God’s greatness through your identity as a child of God. That proving zone will promote the BEST end zone dance, victory song, finish line prize, health, beauty, net worth and breakthrough EVER.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12
Serving Christ by His grace,