A wonderful song by Matthew West - "Hello, My Name Is..." provides great context for these thoughts. Perhaps you should crank it up and listen while you read...
The trouble comes when we gain our identity from these roles. Even when we know better it can creep up on us and slowly become our reality. I've often said that I didn't want to be "Chuck the runner", but rather "Chuck, who runs". A subtle but profound difference, and one that I got a little mixed up of late.
So yes, we fill many roles. Our identity should define these roles, not the other way around.
A number of years ago, in a small group of trusted friends, I expressed concern that I didn't feel compassion for a particular situation. "I fear I don't have a compassionate bone in my body..." I remember saying. My wife said "No, it's just that you don't see it..." I also remember feeling like God said "I'll take that challenge..." Fast forward about 3 years and a series of gut wrenching circumstances, in a meeting with the President of my company, and a "spirited debate", he says to me "that's your problem, you are just too
compassionate!" I sat back and smiled, realizing God had finished that work in me.
Early last year in another small group setting I confided to the group what I believed my God ordained life purpose was - the first time I really shared that outside of my closest circle. It was another momentous day.
What seems to have resulted from that day, however, was that I pulled back from the pursuit of that purpose and settled into a comfortable role- Chuck the runner. Perhaps a choice made from fear.
Well, today I'd like to introduce myself.
Hello my name is Compassion.
Hello my name is Child of the Living God.
Hello, I am an heir of the Kingdom of the Most High God and have a High Calling on my life - which I'm going to pursue for all I'm worth.
Today I am putting down fear and picking up courage.
Press on friends.