Roland Ray Kangong | South Africa
Your gift is your true identity.
Have you ever reached a milestone in your life, whatever it may be, and find yourself excited and wanting to tell someone about it? Yes? I have observed lately that the internet, most especially social media platforms, have become environments where people post information, especially about their milestones. It could be about latest achievements and acquisitions, even fashion statements, or places in the world they live or have visited; the posts sometimes come with braggadocious undertones. I believe strongly (your opinion may differ) that such posts ostensibly seek to serve as some sort of validation of the individuals.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “validate” as: to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of. Wanting to recognize, establish or illustrate your worthiness, which is a quest for validation, may sometimes cause you to say and do things such as going outside of yourself to seek the approval of the world (friends, family members, colleagues, followers on social media etc.) to make you feel worthy. Nevertheless, it is human to desire to be appreciated or flattered and showered with praises from time to time. Everyone likes a good compliment. But, why? Is this quest for validation caused by self-doubt, low self-esteem, pride, wanting to also ‘belong’, or just a desire to let the world celebrate your ‘milestones’ with you? Or could this be coming from a mindset deeply rooted in our cultures that pushes you to try and keep up with, or impress others through the portrayal of an ephemeral image?
In my opinion, the desire for validation is real and entrenched in human nature; it is a response to something you were born to do (your gift), seated deep down in your spirit man; and while your gift remains dormant, unidentified, unrefined and unused, it cries for attention. And, in your own effort to respond to that inner cry, you may then take to the internet and social media platforms to validate yourself with statements meant to recognize, establish or illustrate your worthiness or legitimacy (note: it is not about what you post on social media but the motive for posting and how you say what you say).
The bottom line is that, wherever you are and irrespective of what you may be doing as a career, you need an encounter (through books, seminars, webinars, sermons, etc) that will lead you to finding out who you truly are, your true identity, hidden in your GIFT.
Saul of Tarsus was a very learned Pharisee, comparable to a powerful politician and professor in today’s context. He was a persecutor of the early Christian church, powerful enough to authorize the arrest and stoning of followers of The Way like Stephen (Read the Acts of the Apostles). He was a zealous patriot. But, when he encountered the Truth, he experienced a transformation that positioned him in his element and he wrote three-quarters of the New Testament. Saul sought validation in patriotism, hinged on his high intellectual standing and political connections yet his true validation emerged when he found his gift, his calling, his true identity as he preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So, my question to you is this: where do you think your own validation lies? Are you validated by your college degrees, your position in your company, your bank account, your title, political connections or that deep desire in you to impact other human lives positively and give hope to the hopeless? It is written that whatever your hands find to do, do it as if you were working for the Lord (Colossians 3: 23). Does the phrase “…whatever your hands find to do…” imply that it is okay to do just anything in life even if it is not aligned to your gift? No! “…whatever your hands find to do…” can only be referring to your gift, because your gift is the only activity in which you can excel above everything else. If you pursue your career with that mindset that you are indeed serving God as you do that job, then therein lies your validation! For, your gift was given so that you use it to serve the world (even as an employee) thereby validating yourself.
Your validation is in your gift. Seek your gift earnestly, find it, refine and use it. Read books, relevant books; get knowledge because not knowing what to do in life is the reason for wasted lives (Hosea 4: 6), especially when lifetimes are dedicated to wrong pursuits that are not aligned to your gift.
Ask, seek and knock (Luke 11: 9) and you shall find your gift, and then your true validation. Then, start impacting the world!