Our theme for this month: “The Gift of Being Yourself”
Our Bible verse for today: “And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to buildup the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-12 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Be who you are, not who you aren’t”
I’m not particularly good at receiving compliments. I like them as much as anyone (maybe I like them too much), but they make me uncomfortable. I get awkward and bumbling rather than receiving the compliment graciously. Sometimes when people compliment me on my preaching, teaching, or writing I jokingly dismiss it by saying “Yeah, but I can’t sing, dance, or play the tuba.”
Actually, I never wanted to play the tuba, but I did want to sing, dance, play the guitar, and write songs, and I spent many years trying. I took guitar lessons, I wrote songs, I sang songs, and yes, I tried to dance. Unfortunately, I can’t dance two steps without tripping myself, and when I sing, I sound like a sick frog; my songs are silly and my guitar playing is mechanical and stiff (the boy’s got no rhythm).
I spent many years of my life trying hard to be someone I wasn’t (and feeling diminished because of it). Finally, I got it through my thick head that although God didn’t bless me with music ability and rhythm deep down in my soul, he did give me other talents and abilities which He wants me to focus on and use – He gave me the gifts of preaching, teaching, and writing. As one of my mentors (Pastor Eugene Peterson) used to say, “My artistic medium is words, written, and prayed, and preached.”
God has enabled me to write, preach, and teach. So rather than lament the fact that I can’t sing, dance, or play the tuba (and embarrassing myself in the process of trying), I focus instead on the things God has equipped me for, and I get great joy from doing so.
How about you? Are you spending a lot of time and energy trying to be someone you aren’t, someone God never intended you to be? Deep down in your heart what are the activities that bring you the most joy, the things you are passionate about and good at? As was noted yesterday, that’s a pretty good clue as to how God has wired you.
Don’t waste your time trying to be someone you’re not. Just be you. More about this tomorrow.