The True You

Why do you hide

Yourself within

Layers of what you’re

“Supposed to be”

Till all I see is

False, untrue

And I no longer see

The true you

You have good intentions

To be yourself

But fear of embarrassment

Always wins out

But never forget

That God made you

He made a you

That’s real, that’s true

Not a copy of someone else

But an original, unique

person–yourself!

Christ didn’t die

So you could be

A person confined

By all this pretending

He gave His life

So you could be

As He made you:

Loved and free!

Be the true you

And let the world see

The person God always

Intended you to be

Well, I hadn’t meant for that to go on so long! It kind of poured out, I supposed. This has been on my mind a lot lately. So often we’re afraid of what other people think. Afraid to the point that we hide who we are and try to act like everybody else. We’ve all done it. We all just want to fit in. No one wants to be embarrassed, laughed at, hurt, ignored. And we have decided that the way to avoid that is to be like everyone else.

But why? Even as I understand it, I can’t… well, understand it. God has made each of us beautiful, unique. Despite our fallen state, we are still His beloved creation. And when we hide who we really are, we miss out on the opportunity to be what He meant us to be.

As I say all this, I feel the need to point out that I’m not saying we shouldn’t care what other people think at all. We should. We should always be courteous and thoughtful of others. We should not, however, become so wrapped up in what other people think of us that it keeps us from being ourselves.

Helen Keller via Wikipedia

Helen Keller via Wikipedia

I’ve been reading The Story of My Life by Helen Keller (with additional accounts by her teacher and their assistant). It’s an absolutely beautiful story. One passage that I read about a week ago stuck with me (to my frustration, I have been unable to find it again; so note that the following is purely from memory). It spoke of Helen’s gracefulness and her carefree spirit. Her teacher, Anne Sullivan, commented that it was a result of her not being aware of any need to worry about people watching her, judging her. She was free from that burden and was able to truly be herself. Reflecting what I said above, this didn’t mean that she was unconcerned with other people. From what I can gather from the book, she was very sweet and compassionate.

Anyway, that passage struck me and has stayed on my mind. To be honest, it left me rather envious of her ability to be totally free of the worry of what other people were thinking of her. There is no switch, unfortunately, that can cause us to stop being so self-conscious. It would better be described as a process–one that, I assure you, I have not yet mastered. I think that, the closer you grow in your relationship with God, the better you are able to leave behind the weight of self-consciousness. As we come to know Him better, we realize more and more how much He loves us exactly the way we are. He sees us made pure through Jesus, and He continually tells us that we don’t need to make ourselves different just to please others. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t try to change at all; much of growing in our relationship with Him involves putting off bad habits and overcoming sin.

to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

I would just like to encourage you today to be who you are. To realize that God has known you and loved you since before the creation of the world. To know that ultimately, it is not what other people think but what God thinks that matters. To rest in the knowledge that you never have to pretend to be someone you’re not.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

God loves you just as you are. He always has. And He always will.

-christrocks

(Note: I want to point out that the song above is directed more towards girls and addresses the pressure to meet society’s standard of “beauty”, but it still applies to this post. It’s a wonderful song; the bridge is especially powerful.)

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