By Matt Vincent
Men’s Panel Co-Host

Several years ago I was in Mozambique with some friends, visiting some international partners and programs. At some point during the 10-day trip, I met a man doing some incredible work loving and serving kids and teens who were living on the streets. As we talked, I learned that he was doing all this work as a volunteer, and that he had another job to meet his financial needs. I remember him saying something to the effect of, “I work my job so I can buy food and look after my family, but it’s not who I am. I do that job so that I have the ability to do this other work that God has called me to.”

I remember being really struck by his comments. So often we inadvertently fall into the mindset of seeing someone for what job they happen to do. That woman is a lawyer. That guy is a mechanic. Without even really thinking about it, we link a person to whatever job they happen to have, and thereby also attribute worth and identity.

The thing is, our identity and value doesn’t come from what we do. Sure, our jobs take up a lot of our waking hours and shape who we are – but this is not about value or identity. The Jesus way is to see everyone as daughters and sons of God, image bearers of the Divine who are infinity loved and valued simply in who they are.

When we struggle to know how we fit in, wrongly attach value and standing to our employment statues, or can’t find a job – we need to remember that God loves us unconditionally. We aren’t what we produce, create or how much we earn. Our identity and value rests in being children of God.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
– 1 Peter 2:9