Why do I spend so much time obsessing over my identity? Even as a believer I constantly feel the need to create a sense of meaning for myself, a place where I “fit” and can thrive. I take personality tests. I consider my spiritual gifts. I dissect and proclaim my passions. I also spend a lot of time obsessing over my “fitness,” making sure I don’t sin or make mistakes so that I can feel worthy of the place that I have.
But Jesus makes a statement that cuts right through these preoccupations. He says “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last…” (John 15:16) Jesus is saying in this statement that I’m not the one to create my sense of meaning. It’s not about me. However, the one who it is about is overwhelmed with love for me and chose me. My status as a chosen one takes all the pressure off.
Now that He gives me identity, He wants me to go to work. He appointed me to bear fruit. I am a participant. My energies can now be focused on relationship building rather than self-realization and worth. My end goal in all my activity is knowing the one who made me and that is the root and motive of everything I do. Finally, He says that the stunning result of this participation is fruit that will last. He knows me, He chose me. I'll give Him my all.