Identity theft?

By Mike Klockenbrink

On the outside, this is who I see.

You’re the receptionist who is always smiling and greeting people as they come in. You’re the cashier at the grocery store. You’re the pastor at my church. You’re the police officer who just pulled me over. But who are you really?

Everyone has a different job or role whether at work, home or play. So on the outside, this is who I see. As I get to know you, I see something a little different. That’s not who you are after all.

Many of us become who we are based on a title, position or how others have perceived us. But is this really who we are? I think many of us have gotten caught up in identity theft. Not the type where we’ve had our credit stolen. I’m talking about the type where we’ve lost our identity in who we really are.

I’m troubled when I see people lose their job or position and lose their identity. This is how people see me. What will they think? What will I do? This is who I am. Who are you really?

You’ve had a lifetime to build your identity. As a kid you were the one who loved to play soccer. In high school you were the one who was great in debate class or fought for a humanitarian cause. You go to college and land your first real job. This new position or title starts to define you to others. As time goes on, we start to become who others believe us to be. It doesn’t happen overnight, but day after day we give a little bit of our true selves away.

Then one day, we sit back and reflect on who we really are. And we realize that we are still the same person on the inside as the outside. We cannot be defined by a title or job that we hold. We are defined by our character, our values and beliefs.

You know who you are; let your actions speak for themselves. Don’t let your title, job or any individual steal your identity.

Mike Klockenbrink is chief of staff at Lakeside Church, Folsom, CA.


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