Everyone tells you to BE YOURSELF.
Unfortunately, “yourself” is not always an easy thing to discern, at least not for me. I’m 37 years old, and sometimes….sometimes I’m just not really sure I really know exactly who “I” am.
It’s funny, but don’t we always go to outward things to define us? –what we wear, who we call friends, how we style our hair, what we do with our free time:
…I’m a mom who doesn’t wear mom jeans.
…I like decorating with thrift shop finds.
…I love traveling.
…I’m all about talking with my hands.
…I don’t apologize for going deep.
…who “I am” is often summed up in a list of 10 things others may be surprised to learn about me. But really, I’m not the sum of my likes, my dislikes, and my accomplishments.
Maybe it’s because I’m heading to a conference next week where I will be introducing myself to hundreds of other blogging women, hoping to stand out as “myself.” Maybe it’s because I am in my late 30s, looking at the newborn stage on my horizon, all over again. Maybe it’s because my role in ministry life has shifted so drastically in the last year. Maybe it’s all of these things, but regardless, I’m wading through the details of what it is to “be yourself.”
“…too many of us are suffering from spiritual amnesia; an amnesia that has obscured our true identity as it’s been defined by the gospel.”
Elyse Fitzpatrick, Because He Loves Me
It’s difficult to know how to be yourself if the self you are representing is the fearful, prideful, self-aggrandizing, approval-needy, idolizing, self-sufficient SELF that many of us know ourselves to be…on the inside.
But we need not represent ourselves. We are not our own. We’ve been bought with a price.
To represent Christ is not without a measure of holy fear, but we can stand strong and assured in our representation when we serve as a broken vessel, pieced and formed back together in the hands of our Maker, crafted to be perfectly suited for His purposes. Our vessel fails miserably to transfer the contents of our old self, but withstands beautifully the fullness of Christ in us. He fills our once broken cup and we overflow…pouring forth His fragrance and not our own. What others see is imperfection made beautiful and marked by the handiwork of God.
We are free…
to not be perfect
to not “know ourselves” confidently
to not stand on our self-assurance
to not be noticed or commended for our gifts
…because He has made us free…
to be a new creation
to reflect the redemptive work of Christ
to be satisfied in Him alone
to count it all loss
to be His beloved
to be living sacrifices
to be identified with the sufferings of Christ
It is okay to be a no one to everyone if you are someone to the Holy One. Being myself is not as important as BEING HIS.
So, in the whirlwind of wanting to be know among peers, to be understood by friends, to be noted for who you think you really are…settle in with this thought:
Being yourself is enough…when Jesus is ALL. Christ in you is enough.
All they need to see, all they need to know is Him. I can take all the time I need to figure out “who I am” (and it may just take me until eternity)…because being myself only makes sense when my self is hidden in the fullness of Him. Whether you are 17 or 37 or 77…there’s only one identity to secure, and it simply has nothing to do with the world you’ve created around you to define you; it has everything to do with who He’s created IN you and defined you to be at the Cross. Join me in praising Him and resting in that truth today!