It’s About Identity (10)

Dear friends,

“Identity” is why I started this blog.

Identity is a primary driver of our thoughts and actions. Who do you think you are?

My pastoral work is in a difficult spot right now. My congregation is shrinking. I will likely have to earn most of my income through other means by the middle of 2018 if I want to remain the pastor of Journey of Life.

As this became clear, I was faced with an identity crisis. Who was this man who walked out the front door each day? Was this “failing pastor” driving to the store? Was it “Mr. couldn’t quite hack it” going for a walk?

I was having an identity crisis… and I think it will turn out to be a great blessing. I’m having to think about who I am apart from my role as “pastor.” I’m having to think about my role in the world as “human.” I’m having to deconstruct and dissect my existence down to its core.

Through blogs, podcasts, books (including the Bible), and more, I have come to realize that my essence is “gift.” I may fail or succeed at being a pastor. This may be because of my own skill and execution, or lack thereof. But no matter where I am or what I do, I can be “gift.”

This may seem trite to some, but not to me. It completely changes my whole day.

I don’t know what I’m going to face when I head into the day. Many days this year have seemed difficult and depressing. (Have you ever had to cut a budget by 70%, most of which was your own salary?!?) On many days my first thoughts in the morning lack hope and cheer. That’s a fancy way of saying that despair has been knocking on my door.

But reminding myself who I am changes my day. It’s like turning on the lights. I remember that I am God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God has prepared beforehand. (Ephesians 2:10).

This doesn’t do it alone. I meditate, pray, exercise, and eat well. I am building solid contingency plans. I am cultivating a bias toward action. But understanding that I am a gift to the world feels like it motivates all the other healthy things I need to do. “The world needs that special gift that only you have,” as Marie Forleo likes to say. I can’t be the gift I am meant to be without taking care of myself.

It’s all about identity. Am I a struggling dude using up oxygen? Or am I one way the God of the universe brings good into the lives of others?

Identity is a primary driver of our thoughts and actions. Who do you think you are?

I am a gift to the world. And so are you.

I am a gift to the world. And so are you. Click To Tweet

Grace and peace,

PS – If you know anyone I could serve in a remunerative capacity (get paid), you could send them to my resume at

About the Author

John Rallison

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, though I am continually growing in understanding what that means. I believe that God loves everyone all the time. The world was created for love and whenever we veer from love, we miss the mark of who we were created to be.

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