Don’t Be Yourself

9 02 2012

How many times has someone told you to just “be yourself?” 

This seems to be one of the most popular ideas circulating in our culture these days. Movies tell us to be ourself, or to be true to our heart. The fashion industry practically revolves around this concept of individuality.

And in some ways, that’s not a bad thing. 

Everyone has their own background, personality, likes and dislikes. Every person is different and unique and special, just the way Christ made them to be. 

And goodness knows we all could use being a little more authentic and genuine! 

But this happy thought has a dark underbelly, I’ve found. How many times have you heard someone say, “Well, that’s just the way I am?” when they speak harshly and hurt someone else. How many times have friend or people you know – or even yourself – excused sinful behavior by attributing it to your personality. “That’s just who I am,” we say. “I’m just being myself.”

And you’re right. 

When we sin, we are just being ourself, because we are all sinners. We all do wrong things out of the selfishness and pride that’s in our own hearts. We are truly, “being ourself.” 

But is that really something we should aspire to? To be genuine, humble, authentic, yes. But to excuse our sin or hurting others because we are just being ourselves, and we can’t act any differently?

That’s bogus. 

I can be a fairly shy and low-key person. I’m not loud. I’m not the most out-going person I know, by far. Being a loud and funny and out-there type of person is just not me. And I won’t pretend otherwise. But just because I’m not the most out-going person in the room, does that mean God doesn’t expect me to go say hi to the new person in the group, and make them feel welcome? Absolutely not. 

We can’t value our individuality over Christ’s commands, not if we truly are followers of Him. Over and over the Bible says we must die to ourselves and become like Christ. 

Did you get that? Like CHRIST. Not ourselves. We’re not supposed to be seeking after our own individuality or to be ourselves, we’re supposed to be like Christ. Not in a way that contradicts our personality. But seeking to become more and more like Christ in a way that flows out of who He made you to be. 

Because only then, can you truly “be yourself” as you were intended to be. 

“Therefore, do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Rom. 12:2

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