I think people tend to define themselves based off of two things: First, who they know, and second, what they can do. Basically, the amount of friends we have and how good we are at sports, music, school, or whatever else determines our identity. Maybe this isn't how it is for everyone. Some choose to use their wealth or looks as their defining factor, but I think every person has some aspect of vanity that represents who they are.
I chose specifically to focus on abilities simply because it is the part of my life that I have most associated with my identity.
Life is so simple and boxed in when the only scale we have of ourselves is what we can achieve.
Sometimes it is so easy to slip into the mindset that being smarter, more athletic, and more talented means being more loved. But that is false. I don't want to be defined by my abilities.
I want to be defined by my character. Abilities fade, but the way we treat people doesn't.
When people describe me, I don't want them to say, "Oh yeah, Lilly! She's really great at (fill in the blank)." I want to be described as kind, loving, present, engaged, and joyful. And the only way that I can earn that kind of identity is if I look to someone who is the author and perfecter of those qualities, Jesus. Now don't get me wrong, the Lord delights in our hard work and excellence. In Colossians 3:23, he tells us that whatever we do, to do it with our whole hearts and to do it onto him. I believe the end there is the key part that I often miss. I shouldn't be honing my abilities to please others, I should be doing it onto the Lord, and most of all, I should be giving him the greatest glory.
In the rush of everyday life, it can be so easy to attribute successes to hard work, intellect, and talent, when really it is God who gifted us with all these qualities. In the end, I want my love of Jesus to be the focal point of my life.
I want to be defined by knowing and seeking God.