Who Are You Really?

In our new Crossroads Career workbook entitled “Hear God Calling You,” we guide you through a framework designed to enable you to articulate your own Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. We believe that God created each of us uniquely, and if we can know ourselves more deeply and clearly, through His lens, we can be His disciples more effectively.

The workbook is just that; it’s a book filled with work for you! In my own life, along with thousands of career conversations in which I’ve engaged, I’ve found that most people have not done the work to discover the answers to the journalistic questions mentioned above.

Through the rest of this month, we’re going to extract a few exercises from the workbook in the hopes that they immediately support you and also whet your appetite for more.

Who Am I? Really?!?

Today we’re going to start with “Who am I? Really?!?” It’s a question we rarely ask ourselves or others. We typically ask, “What do you do?” when we meet someone for the first time, or “Where are you from?” If we were to ask, politely and respectfully, “So please tell me, who are you? Really?!?”, I think we’d be somewhat surprised…both at the question itself and the response we might get. But for today, we want to ask that of ourselves!

Bob Goff, author of Love Does, succinctly states, “Take away what you’re known for, and whatever’s left, is who you are!” Meanwhile, Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.”

We may align the question of “Who am I?” with our identity. Merriam-Webster defines identity as: “1) the distinguishing character or personality of an individual, 2) the condition of being the same with something described or asserted, 3) sameness of essential or generic character in different instances.”

Additionally, Scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” The whole story within the Bible is pointing us toward God’s redemptive power through His Son, Jesus Christ. If we accept His free gift of salvation, and turn away from our sin, we become sons and daughters of Him. Then, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to reflect the love of Christ to others in this world through the unique temple God created each of us to be.

Mad, Sad, and Glad

So, the question could become, “Who did God make me to be to best radiate the love of God to others?” To answer that question, we recognize that our identity, character, and/or personality is complex. The features or attributes which have shaped us have many influencers and sources. 
In Hear God Calling You, we leverage the Mad, Sad, and Glad exercise. It is designed to highlight the emotional cues of our passions. Do you know what those are? What may trigger them? How could you channel them within your identity?

The exercise is fairly simple. Take 5 minutes and write out the words the come to mind with these questions:

  • What makes you mad? What disturbs you?
  • What makes you glad? What delights you?
  • What makes you sad? What disappoints you?

Lastly, what action would you be willing to take based on what you’ve outlined?

  • For something that disturbs you, are you willing to make a disturbance about it?
  • For the delights, would you be willing to share those with others in some way?
  • For sad or disappointing elements, would you be willing to help reconcile them somehow?

For me, I get disturbed when people are not valued or respected properly at work. I want to take action to help others through the vehicle of Crossroads Career. I am glad when I see someone utilizing practical tools to become more fulfilled, and I attempt to reconcile employment situations I see people struggling with.

I find more fulfillment when my true identity flows into what I do! 

Don’t Stop There

We’ll continue this series on Hear God Calling You for the rest of May, so check back next week for more. You also won’t want to miss the series we did in October (Rethinking Your Career?, Not Just Hearing but Doing, How Is Your Calling Like A Rowboat? and How Deep Is Your Relationship with God?), or you can find and purchase the workbook in our store.


Dave Sparkman currently serves as the volunteer Crossroads Career board chair and local ministry leader. He is also the founder and managing director of Spark Your Culture, a corporate culture consulting firm. Prior to that he worked at UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune #5 public company, serving in the role of Chief Culture Officer. His unemployment experience came from the implosion of Arthur Andersen, where he served as the West Region Managing Partner, People.

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