Most people are desensitized to the unofficial American greeting. "Who are you and what do you do?" is just a social nicety we expect.

We're even programmed to answer with short, clear phrases:

"I'm Jodi, home health care nurse."
"Katherine, divorced mom of one."
"It's Emily, blogger and church volunteer."

These post-comma words give us a feeling of security. They let us categorize an identity quickly and easily: "This is me in a nutshell."

But our short answers are never the whole story, are they? We are far more complex characters than a simple job, label, or role can encompass. (pg. 10)

Before long, though, we've polished a set of post-comma words -- the nice, little list you offer when someone asks . . .

So what's your post-comma story?

  • "I'm Beth, and I'm a mom, a hiker, a creative, and a civil servant." (Wait, civil servants can be creative?)
  • "I'm Julianne, and I'm a successful, thin, happy, gorgeous model wife with two perfect children." (No one likes Julianne much.)
  • "I'm Trish, and I'm a Sunday school teacher, welcome desk receptionist, member of the prayer team, and women's ministry volunteer." (That's a lot of time spent at church!)
  • "I'm Candace, and I'm a recent divorcee with three kids and a home-based photography business I'm determined to keep afloat." (Candace needs lots of hugs.)

If you'd asked me for my post-comma words a few years ago, I'd have offered: wife, daughter, sister to six, creative, cook, church goer, perfectionist, organizer, leader, introvert, good girl, teacher reader. (pg. 20-21)*

But like the title of the book where I confessed I hated most of my post-comma words . . . grace changes everything. Especially who we think we are.

A new post-comma list

When we accept Jesus as Savior, God gives us a brand new identity. Suddenly, in Christ you are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) with a beautiful standing before God. Truths like righteous (Romans 5:17), justified (Romans 3:23-24), adopted (Ephesians 1:5), and accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6) now apply.

As we grow in grace, the Holy Spirit guides us into the truth of what these mean in everyday life. Not to mention, the post-comma list is more glorious than ever before!

Prayer for today

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that You never ask me "who are you and what do you do?" That instead, by Your grace, You give me a secure position in Christ and a new identity. Help me to grow in grace so I understand who You say I am and hold that truth in my heart. I'm excited about the post-comma words You write for me!  Amen.

Journal & Reflection questions:

  1. Think through your "automatic" post-comma words. What do you love/hate about that list?
  2. What piece of your new standing in Christ brings the biggest smile to your face?
  3. Where is God leading you to dig deeper into understanding who you are now?

*Excerpts from Grace Changes Everything: How to Be Enough in a Do-More World

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