Be Yourself?

Choicethere is a line that exists between these two statements:

“be the best YOU that you can be”
“rise above what you are and be what is needed”

both of these statements are true. one of the worst things we can ever do with our lives is to try to be something we’re not. our world is full of fakers and posers and wannabes who try to con people into believing that what they see is the real deal.

there are few things sadder than watching somebody trying to paint a false impression in an interview process or out on a first date. “just be yourself” is some of the best advice we can ever give to another person.

on the other hand, if i would have hidden behind the “this-is-just-the-way-that-i-am” defense, i never would have become the person i am today.

  • i am naturally an introvert…but i learned how to interact with people and have grown to love crowds and tons of social interaction.
  • i am naturally shy and hate being the center of attention…but i’ve grown more and more comfortable with being “up front”. without that change, i could never do what i do.
  • i am naturally self-conscious…but over the years i have learned to face my failures publicly.
  • i used to be petrified of public speaking…but speaking with confidence is a requirement for what i do and i had to learn how to grow comfortable with it.
  • i used to be over-the-top impulsive…but over the years, i have learned a measure of self-discipline.
  • i used to be gripped by fear…but have steadily developed into a risk-taker as my faith has grown and my vision for what god requires has deepened.
  • early in my life, i was a worrier…but as i’ve grown older, the more contentment has ruled in my heart.

the list could go on…

the point is this. i think when we are young, we develop a certain personality…a certain skill set…a certain way of living that is unique to us. some of that is thrust on us because the parents we have and the genetics poured into us. some comes through the home-life dynamics that shape the way we see the world. some also comes by way of significant life experiences we live through, but have little or no control over. and some certainly comes because that is just the way god made us.

but we are never “stuck” there. change is not only possible, its required. for the follower of christ, when we read we are to “seek the kingdom of god and his righteousness AS OF FIRST PRIORITY”, it means we to actively pursue those personality characteristics…those skills…that fruit of spirit…that best emulates the life and example of jesus.

it also means we are to actively pursue choices, behaviors, attitudes, thought processes, that reflect our commitment to placing god’s kingdom first in all things.

so….

if my it is my nature to be opinionated and abrasive, then i need to aggressively pursue a softer spirit and gentler approach with people. learning to “speak the mind of christ” instead of “speaking my own mind”, needs to happen for the good of the kingdom.

if mercy and forgiveness do not come naturally, then work on it…for the good of people and the good of the kingdom.

if you find it difficult to give to others selflessly, that can change. and it needs to. if being shy or undisciplined is limiting your role in god’s redemptive plan, then it’s high time you start digging in and believing you are not destined to simply be the person you are.

you do not have to live in fear, embarrassment, self-consciousness, anger, or resentment. you don’t have to let your emotional responses be controlled by the actions of others.

you can become a “better” you. but this is not the pseudo, self-help junk that is passed off as a spiritual journey. what i’m talking about is a new life that happens as we surrender “our will” to the “will of the father”. it happens as we grow more and more familiar with the ways of god.

it happens when the ways of the kingdom and the needs of people become more important than hiding behind “that’s just the way i am”.

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