One can easily say that you are what you do. This means that what you do defines you. It gives you an identity which gives you your distinct personality as an individual. It is the unique characteristics by which a person is recognised or known.
Matthew 7:16 says, “Ye shall know them by their fruits…” You can identify a tree by the fruits it produces. By observing the outward actions of an individual, you can know the condition of the heart. We can recognise the type of people we are dealing with by evaluating the type of fruits they bear. The concept is that a good tree cannot bear a bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
Usually we substitute people’s names with what they do. It is common to simply call someone Pastor or Doctor or Professor and so on. This underscores the importance of what you do.
What you do may not always be dignifying or honourable. For instance, someone who teaches is known as a teacher, while someone who steals is addressed and known as a thief. Someone who has the habit of telling lies is addressed and known as a liar. If you have been convicted of an offence and imprisoned you are known as an ex-convict.
Generally, we determine and influence how people know, identify and address us. For instance, I was known and addressed as Christopher from birth. But on 18th September, 1963, I went to a court registry in Aba (now in Abia State) and officially disowned that name for some personal reasons. From that day, I was no longer officially known and addressed as Christopher.
Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches…” Ask yourself: what emotion your name invokes when it is mentioned? When people hear your name mentioned, what do they immediately think of you? Sometime ago, I was chatting with a friend and I mentioned the name of a neighbour and my friend was surprised that I knew him. He told me that he was a dubious character in his secondary school days and even in the university. I was taken aback. Your name speaks loudly about your reputation, character and integrity. These are more valuable than all the money in the world.
Since we are known by what we do, how do we want to be known for good and noble things? Every human being was created for good. The Creator designed each human being to fulfil a specific purpose and assignment in life. That assignment determines what you should do and be known for.
God has given us various talents, gifts and abilities to enable us fulfil that purpose. That assignment is meant to define you and give you an identity. Ignorance of that purpose and assignment causes people to go astray. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” When your life is not in alignment with God’s purpose, the tendency is to lose restraint and go astray. Going astray implies doing the wrong things. Of course, you will be known for the wrong things you do.
Today, in Nigeria, some people are known and addressed in the manner those of us who are old never imagined. Some groups are named Boko Haram, bandits, kidnappers, yahoo yahoo boys, Fulani herdsmen etc. People going by these names do something inhuman, anti-social, wicked and immoral.
When people don’t live their lives in conformity with the Spirit of God, they cannot fulfil the divine purpose. Their natural gifts and abilities are misused and misdirected and they become ready instruments in the hands of the devil.
I said above that your profession or career defines you but it must be clear that your career by itself is not the God’s primary purpose for your creation. Your profession or career is your own choice or decision as a means of fulfilling the purpose of your life. Genesis 1:26 says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” Whatever you do must be done in a way to please, appreciate and worship God. Your work must be a service that is pleasing to God.