Saturday, May 26, 2012

Be Who You Are

Be who you are. I love this phrase. It's significance came out of the journey through the book of Ephesians our church did a few years ago. Ephesians is a book about the identity and purpose of the church and of us as Christ-followers. Ephesians 4:1 calls us to "live a life worthy of the calling you have received". In other words, be who you are, who you have been called to be.

I wonder if other people think about this as much as I do. I think about it quite often. This journey of discovering who I am and, more specifically, who I am in Christ, has been so defining on so many areas of my life. As a Christ-follower my first and foremost calling is corporate in nature. I am to live out of my calling as a child of God, a member of His family, first. This calling is the same for every Christ-follower. We are called to things like loving others, living sacrificially as Christ did, being obedient to God, serving God through the body of Christ, being reconcilers, agents of His divine grace, and on and on. This is who, we who are Christ-followers, are called to be. This is what defines who I am. And grasping this has shaped me significantly.

Discovering how God has uniquely wired me has then enabled me to learn how to function as He has called me to. My personality, spiritual gifts, talents, abilities, and the passions God has placed within me all serve to help me be who God created me to be. Learning about myself in these ways have helped me learn the things that help me be more effective in that calling. Like, for example, how art restores the energy my stress-filled week of ministry depleted.

I think one of the most important things God has revealed in this journey of self-discovery is that it is not ultimately about me. I discover who I am and how I am put together so that I love and serve God and others as He has called me. The ultimate goal of self-discovery is to bring glory to God in and through my life. Be who you are.

“Through faith, self-knowledge leads us to self-acceptance and a self-love that draw their life from God’s acceptance and love.” Richard Foster, Prayer, The Prayer of Examen.

“Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” Steven Pressfield, Author

"You have searched me, LORD, and you know me." Psalm 139:1
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14

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