You are far out to sea on a large, chartered boat with dozens of other passengers. Suddenly, a storm surges and capsizes the vessel. You’re terrified and struggling to stay afloat as the boat sinks into the depths. You swim toward a piece of the boat’s carnage floating atop the engulfing waters. After what seems like days upon days, you wash upon the shores of a small, deserted island with nothing but seas in sight. There is no one else who survived the wreckage. You are alone and have no chance of ever being rescued. You are here in isolation til your end of days.
A fascinating research study was done on high-ranking individuals like CEO’s, government and military officials and famous sports celebrities – people who were esteemed for their status or titles. The study measured their sense of value, both pre- and post-retirement. For those who had equated their purpose in life with the roles they held, they began feeling worth less than when they were in authority and in high regard. Unless they could begin to differentiate their identity from their roles, they would spin into a downward spiral where they began to hope less, see the world as more hostile, suffer depression, and die sooner than their counterparts.
When your value is in your role and not your unique, God-given, purpose-filled identity, you run the risk of feeling worth LESS when you no longer dominate that role.
Think back on your score. Were you rating your value on the loss of your roles or on your God-given identity which never changes or loses significance? How might you reassess your value and purpose considering this exercise? When we believe the true measure of our worth is based on who God created us to be in Christ Jesus, our identity remains secure, safe from the storms and shipwrecks of life.