I’ll never forget the first time I was able to have a conversation about Star Wars. After my dad showed me the original trilogy, I was in love with it. It made my afternoon playing outside have vivid stories of me dreaming about being in the Star Wars universe. I read the random books from the library trying to get more of this thing that I loved, but I really wasn’t able to share my love for it. My neighborhood friends loved skateboarding and video games, but couldn’t connect with my new thing. I wouldn’t talk about Star Wars, because they weren’t interested and thought it was kinda lame. Then, my friend from church named Grayson, told me about this new book he was reading, based off of Star Wars. Immediately I connected because I was able to be myself and talk about something that I loved dreaming about as a kid. That’s a bit of a random story, but I think it illustrates something that many of us face.
It’s hard to be ourselves.
One of the hardest things you can be, is yourself. We are constantly told to fit the perfect model and make our lives this picture-perfect version of ourselves. The problem with living this way, is that it eventually leads us to comparing ourselves and killing ourselves to keep up this altered version of ourselves. The truth is, you were not designed to live this way. From the beginning of time, before you were even born, God designed you with a purpose. He had a plan for your life, with unique talents and traits to play a role for his kingdom. What ends up happening is many Christ followers think that there is a personality type you have to become, but the truth is, you need to start being you. God made you in his image, the different facets of his personality are a part of you, so don’t compromise the beauty of that by trying to be something you aren’t.
I want to talk about how to be yourself so that you can make an impact on the people in your life.
It’s okay to have bad days.
I’ve noticed a recent trend on social media, it’s not huge but I think it’s important to call out. There are posts that says things like, “Maybe it’s not a bad day, maybe you’re just focusing on something negative,” or, “Your mood shouldn’t be controlled by the one bad moment.” This type of talk communicates that mental health isn’t important. It’s essentially telling someone to just “be happy,” or, “You should smile more.” As a Christ follower, we get into this shaming state. We go through struggles and someone tells you to just give it to God. That sounds well and good, but that communicates, “you’re not being a good enough Christian.” Christianity is not an easy walk, no part in the new testament was it “easy” for the early church. Christians were burned in the streets in order to light up the Roman roads, they loved God, but it was never easy. It is okay to have bad days, I’ll even raise the stakes, it’s okay to wrestle in your relationship with God. The Christian walk is all about questioning God, and at the end of the day, resting in the fact that he is ultimately in control. There are going to be days that you will struggle, you will question this whole thing, but at the end of the day, know that God has you and he loves you on your good days and the bad. You don’t have to be the smiling Christian, you are a beloved creation no matter what hard day you are having. Trust God on your bad days, knowing that he is using you exactly the way you are.
It’s okay to be different.
I think the best thing about being created by an imaginative creator, is that each one of us are different. It’s beautiful. So why is it easy for us to fall into wanting to be someone else, or expecting others to fit what we like? It’s a great trick the devil has lied to us all about, that lie is that you are not good enough to be who you are. You are enough. Just because you don’t act like everyone else does not make you less valuable than anyone else. When Paul writes about how the body is made up of individual and unique parts, and each one is important, that is vital to understand. A pre-school small group leader is just as valuable as a lead pastor. Both are different, but both have been uniquely made for their purpose. You don’t have to fit a certain role to be a follower of Christ, you simply need to be willing to let God use you and your talents for a bigger picture. It is okay to be who you are designed to be. There is not a formula for who you are to become when you follow Christ. Now that’s not meaning that you can live in sin, being a follower of Christ means that you are in a process of sanctification (the ongoing process of becoming holy). We need to be working towards growing in our Christlikeness, but the talents and giftings that you have do not need to be changed to fit someone else’s agenda or needs. God made you to be you, so step into your gifting and make a positive impact on others.
One of the best things you can learn and grow to do, is live like yourself. People are more attractive when they are comfortable in their own skin. We tend to want to be around others who don’t put on this “mask” of having all together or that they are better than you are. God made you in his image, he knit you in the womb, there is so much value in you and what you can offer to the world. Don’t be afraid to be who God made you to be. You have value exactly how you are and play a vital role in God’s kingdom.
Start living as you were designed by God.