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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Be Who You Are

If I have a mantra to wave as banner over my life, it would be: BE WHO YOU ARE! And spit in the eye of anyone who tells you different. Okay, the spitting thing maybe not.

In his prison epistles, Paul banged this nail repeatedly. Too often in today's plastic world, with plastic money, plastic cars, and plastic people, we lose track of who we are. We miss the uniqueness that makes us us.

Ask the next five people you meet if they can list ten awesome qualities about themselves, ask them what they're good at, what their passion is, what’s their purpose, and I'll bet you meet with more blank stares than anything else.

God created you exactly like you are (speaking of gifting, aptitudes etc.). He has a purpose for your life; He’s equipped you with the necessary tools to accomplish His plan. How cruel it would be to ask you do drywall the castle and then give you a waffle iron, thermometer, and nail file with which to accomplish this. Yet, this makes about as much sense as asking you to be a bookkeeper and give you the gifts of mercy and compassion (or vice versa).

Christians want to serve, to help, to make a difference. Over the years, we've cultivated a brand of Christian that sets the standard. If you're outside these boundaries, then something is wrong with you. Here's an example: Women are to be quiet, submissive and gentle creatures. Men are to be the leader, authoritative, and confident.

What happens to the poor sot that God creates—a man who is gentle, tender, and easily moved to tears? Or, the woman God has gifted with strong leadership ability? Historically, the Church rejects or tries to reform such people. Historically, the Church places heavy constraints on such people (I speak of women in particular here).

This morning, I was part of a webinar and I asked the question: What does it tell us when our culture rejects the gifts God has placed within the individual? What does it tell us about the way the Christian culture reacts to God's specific placement of these gifts?

They disagree with God. The created disagrees with the Creator.

They reject the gifts because it smacks against their own prejudice and preference. God forbid. In reality, by rejecting a person's gifts, they reject God. By their action, they tell God He was a fool, or that He's made a mistake. God forbid.

Dear friend, let people be who they are in Christ. Stop trying to make them fit into a mold so you feel comfortable. Stop trying to get them to act a certain way or think a certain way. Encourage them to blossom as the flower God designed them to become. Help them reach full bloom and then glory in the differences. Watch them grow and become. Learn to let go and let God...


Jenny Mertes said...

I agree with you - gifts that God has given and that promote his kingdom and glorify him are to be celebrated and used, not hidden because they don't fit someone's mold. My only caution is to those who think a particular character trait like "speaking the truth in love" (which they think actually means saying whatever you feel like saying because you think the listener needs to hear it) is from God. What I'm trying to say is, sometimes people use that "gifting" reason as an excuse for rude, inconsiderate, or hurtful behavior disguised as a strength - hey, that's my gift!

Debbi said...

Yes, Jenny, you are correct. Motive is always to be pure and acceptable to God. I'm specifically speaking of gifts of personality like: creativeness, having an aptitude to reason, mathematicians, artists, women gifted to lead, men gifted to care...

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