Identity Crisis: Essential or Non-essential?

Who are we underneath our jobs and hobbies?

In a world where people’s identity is often defined by their careers, to be suddenly told, what you do isn’t essential can be demoralizing. But does God see you as essential?

In the wake and in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic, humanity has been put on a ledge of unanswered questions – about the virus, about the future, to mask or not to mask, about who we each are when we are broken down to our most minimal selves.

But at the birth of this crisis a new term toppled its way into humanity’s ever-fragile and searching minds: essential workers.

The two-word description can seem logical. It is a pandemic; we’ve been told of our need to isolate. We can’t all go to work as usual.

But what about the lasting impacts of such a phrase on a population who often define their very identity by their career of choice?

People suddenly find themselves on a precipice of feeling unneeded and without purpose – an identity crisis for the ages. What this phrase can lead us to think about is who are we stripped of our physical anchors in life?

Left without answers, this phrase of being “non-essential” in the eyes of our government can put a person in a dangerous mental space.

Stripped of our jobs, money, fancy clothes, exciting travels and adventures, what lies beneath? Why are we existing on this spinning orb of earth?

Perhaps this time of isolation and social distancing can be a massive opportunity for some much-needed self-examination.

It is right to ask these questions, but where you turn to for answers is crucial in finding an eternal purpose, one that makes every individual on this planet an essential worker. No man and no government can ever make you non-essential when you have an eternal purpose!

God, our creator, our founding Father, has established a constitution for life that is truly immutable, with no need for amendments or change, because it is infallible and perfect at its core (Isaiah 44:2, Psalm 139, 2 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 4:12).

Look at God’s Word on how he views humanity – how he views you.

In John 3:16, God tells us He loves us so much he sacrificed his ONLY begotten Son that we may have life, and not just life, but a fuller life, fruitful and abundant (John 10:10).

And in whose hands is that life (Job 12:10)? In the hands of a government ruled by the words of men and women and changed opinions and policies? No way.

Our life is in the hands of our true founding Father – God.

Nothing, not a pandemic, not being deemed non-essential, life or death, “nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).

We cannot let ourselves be defined by our jobs or fashion labels or what others think of us. Those can be a part of what shape us – sub identities to our core identity of Christian, God fearers, and laborers in the Word.

1 Corinthians 15:58 is clear in this: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the LORD, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Doing the essential work of Christianity is a vow to work and strive for righteousness in our own lives and to make sure the world knows, too, that that’s their purpose.

Whatever earthly job we find for ourselves doing and however much we feel that God may have called us to do that work, That job doesn’t define you. No man or woman can strip us of the ultimate work we are called to do in Christ. In this we are and will always be essential workers.

We are responsible until the day we die to live this calling, to fulfill our ultimate purpose. To learn more about this, check out our booklet “Why Were You Born?