“In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”- Ephesians 1:5-6 (ESV)
Part 3 (“Identity Shift”) of Jeff Manion’s latest book, Satisfied, begins with Chapter 8 (“Adopted”). There Pastor Manion emphasizes that, for the Christian, the issue of identity is not to be overestimated. New identity propels new behavior. The first aspect of identity, as addressed by St. Paul in his Letter to the Ephesians, is adoption.
Adoption is in stark contrast to the Roman world of Paul’s time, where child abandonment was common. Pastor Manion states that in Roman culture a newborn frequently was placed at the father’s feet. The father’s next action was pivotal and decisive. If he deemed the child undesirable, the father simply turned his back and walked away. So Paul wrote of the wonder of adoption to Ephesian Christians living in a world of abandonment, telling them that because of Jesus they had a treasured place in God’s family.
Feelings of abandonment and isolation hit hard and intensify following our ministry downsizing or vocation loss. Management personnel and/or colleagues may have turned their backs on us and walked away. Although stripped of our former identity, because of Jesus we have a treasured place in God’s family.
Today’s question: Prior to your vocation loss, what percentage of your identity was encompassed by your job? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Filling the void”