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What if My Work is Becoming Obsolete?

By Travis Lowe

“The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.” Isaiah 2:2 (ESV)

I sometimes wonder what the world’s greatest VCR repairman from the 1980s is doing today. I wonder where the factory workers are who made typewriters, alarm clocks, or printed phone books. In our increasingly digital world, obsolescence is no longer a potentiality, it is a planned progression. Constant change is the new normal, but as much as we anticipate the next iPhone launch, few of us are prepared for changes that could affect our perceived identities.

It is natural that we find identity in our professions. This has been true throughout history. People have always been known as farmers or shepherds. However, when our identity is intermingled with a profession, what happens when that profession becomes obsolete? Who am I if I lose my job? Who am I when I retire?

I want you to know that in Christ, you have an identity higher than any earthly label. Paul says there is neither “slave nor free,” meaning you are more than what you do or who you work for. Jesus even called men to lay down their nets and this change of profession did not produce a loss of identity but the birth of a greater one. In Christ, you can celebrate that you are a great brick mason or a gifted programmer, but if all of that is stripped away, your identity remains as who Jesus says you are. God has given you a new name.

Prayer: God, help us find our identity in you and in your Word. Remind us of your promises and let us anticipate with gladness the newness that you bring.

This article was originally published on December 10, 2020 at Made to Flourish.