JUST BE YOURSELF

Olivia Bowling~Our niece
Photo by Tracey Lewis

When God created mankind he did it in such a way that each and every one of us is unique. There is, and only can be, one of you or me. That alone is astounding don’t you think? Out of the millions and millions of people that have ever lived there has only been one of you. Even still we are always given to comparisons. We say things like “You’re just like your mother, or father.” Especially when we misbehave our mom might say, “You act just like your father!” Sometimes joking and sometimes maybe not but either way it seems to help us when we compartmentalize things. Sometimes we go even farther and lump all of a certain race or gender into a box thinking “they” are all alike.  

   I think at the root of comparing and judging one another is an identity issue. If we could just determine what category everyone fits into we can begin to understand them or place them on the charts in our minds where they belong. For instance, if they have certain personality traits that seem to be the same as someone else we might think there are other things similar so we jump to conclusions. We begin to have perceptions about others that may not be true at all. There has been numerous times when someone has met me and said, “You don’t sound like I thought you would.” You see, I have long hair and a beard so when some folks hear my voice they are shocked for some reason. I’m not sure what they were expecting but obviously it is something different than what they get.

   Sometimes we see others and how they dress or fix their hair and try to emulate them. We have a strong need to be identified somehow. People have always looked to movie stars and musicians for fashion. If I told you “That guy had an Elvis hair do” or “Beatles haircut” you would immediately know what I meant wouldn’t you.

   When it comes right down to it from God’s perspective I think it’s all about the heart or conscience. Paul told the Corinthians “We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.”(2 Corinthians 5:12)

   God’s plan all along is for us to be ourselves. Of course without the Spirit of God in us we will never truly know who we are and will be destined to live a life of comparing ourselves with others. What happens then is we find ourselves in what is often called an identity crisis. This is what establishes and sustains trends isn’t it? I mean someone creates something like a clothing designer and suddenly everyone has to have it. Why do you think that is? It’s because people don’t know who they are and they are craving to be liked, popular and etc.

   Of course the ultimate in comparisons and the only one that will ultimately matter is comparing oneself to Christ. By this I don’t mean we are to try and be like him but rather we stop comparing ourselves to other people thinking they are our example and see Christ as our plumb line. Another quote from Paul to the Corinthians is, “For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.”(2 Corinthians 10:12)

   Mankind was created in the image of God. His intention all along has been to take up residence within mankind and we individuals are to be an expression of Christ. He isn’t there to make you like anyone else. In fact it isn’t until he is in you that you can be your genuine self. The goal is for God to live in and through your personality as his human agent here on earth. Once He comes to dwell in you, then and only then, will you truly be set free to be you and stop comparing yourself and others with everyone else.

Written by Louie

“Be yourself, because everyone else is already taken.” ~Oscar Wilde

“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown

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