I had to laugh at myself today because of how upset I get when people question my job performance. My Thinker personality has the tendency to equate my task with my identity, and when some one attacks my task I get really offended because I feel like they're attacking me. I've had that experience more occasions than I'd like to admit, but what I've recognized is that my job is a poor foundation on which to place my identity.
A concept that recently came up in our supervision group is that God is stripping us of anything we place our identity in other than him. 1 Corinthians 3:11 says " For no man can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." This reality is crucial to any Identity work because any thing other than Christ will crumble when the storms of life hit. Even when things are great and my assumed foundation is working, God is in the process of freeing us from that frail identity.
Romans 12 talks about our new lives as living sacrifices and how we lay our live down so that others can live. This principal is at work in all areas of our life, but I've seen especially in marriages. The majority of problems that come up in marriage stem from me trying to save myself and my rights, but in the process we sacrifice the other. The reason I bring this up is that the things I try to save myself on can be as insignificant as a schedule of the day that my wife was trying to bring up. My identity is so frail that I feel attacked when she changes plans. When I lay down my life and insecurity as a sacrifice, the other person lives! Part of me wants to say "how pathetic" to get so upset over something so small, but the other part of me is saying, "how freeing"!!! Christ is freeing me from my frail identity and the things that I try to derive it from (job, schedule, reputation, family, etc.) and exchanging it for His identity!!!
Even today as I write this I was reminded of how quickly I can get defensive over something so frail. But when I accept Christ as my life and new identity, there is nothing that can offend me! I too, am a work in progress but He's nowhere near done working with me yet!