be yourself

Be+Yourself+-+Lobby+Card+2

We struggle to be unique.  Funny.  Because we were born unique.  We were born different from other people, with our own set of genes and chromosomes and dna and rna and blood type and hair color and eye color and fingerprints and foot size.  We were born with skinny long toes or short stubby ones. 

And then it seems we spend the rest of our lives tempted to be like everyone else.  Some call it peer pressure.  I think it's more of a self pressure.  We ourselves our tempted to fit in.  We ourselves are tempted to shape our bodies, minds and actions to fit in to a particular mold that we perceive will allow us to somehow be like others.  We are tempted to be like others because we perceive that somehow our conformity to others will give us more affirmation, more acceptance, more self-worth than what we currently feel.  We are tempted to change our uniqueness into commonality because we are anxious about our loneliness, confused by our disconnectedness, or afraid of our own uniqueness.

I think there are two persons we doubt more than any others:

1. Our own self.
2. God.

The crazy thing is that if we truly believed in God, we wouldn't struggle so much with our own uniqueness as individuals.  If we trusted God fully, we would embrace our unique self-make-up and triumph in the way we have been wired together. 

Imagine waking up in the morning knowing that God loves you and believes in you… that God is there for you and has some stuff he wants you to do that day.  Imagine living in such a way that you seek to please God rather than seeking to please others.  Imagine finding the firmest footing for your feet in the midst of tempting whirls around you because you are standing on the foundation of Psalm 93.  Imagine being able to speak the truth in love because you aren't tempted to fold to the ears of others.  Imagine having the courage to face your shortcomings and then overcoming their shortness because God is a God of empowering power!  Imagine having the self-guts to confess your sin… and then being given the forgiveness, the authority and the blessing you need to live solidly on that day.  Imagine being so secure in God that you are able to love your family, your friends, your coworkers with a love beyond yourself.  Imagine finding your identity in God so that no matter what turmoil happens you will not be able to lose yourself.  Imagine living in such a way as a uniquely created individual that others want to know how to live as unique individuals too. 

1 Samuel 8 tells us of the Israelites desire to "be like all the other nations" around them.  How sad, Samuel thought, that they didn't seek God's affirmation first and foremost.  How sad, Samuel thought, that they didn't see themselves the way God did… that they didn't accept or believe or embrace the blessed assurance that God had for them.

The old hymn says this: Blessed assurance / Jesus is mine.

That's right.

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

One thought on “be yourself

  1. hey ken!
    i’m reading a very insightful book right now called “When People are Big and God is Small” which talks about how people often live and operate out of a “fear of man.” he says that when we are young, it’s called peer pressure and when we’re adults, it’s called people-pleasing. how true! anyway, this post reminded me of that.

    Like

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