Have you ever lived in such a way that you’re only being who you think people want you to be? It’s a hard thing to explain. It’s not that people make you behave a certain way, or force you into something you’re not. But it’s like there’s this unspoken pressure to fit in. ‘Fit inside this box that society has made for you’. ‘Don’t go outside that box’. ‘Don’t go against the norms of what culture says you should’.
As a Christian, I’m already used to being ‘outside the norms of culture’. But I’m talking about more than that. Even in the Christian community, there are ‘norms’ that people are supposed to stay inside. And it’s not that people do this on purpose, it’s simply that because the average person is say ‘Inside the norm’, that’s automatically expected from everyone.
Mostly though, it’s living a life of trying to please people. But we can’t please everybody. In pleasing some we displease others, and vice versa. That’s why we are to please God above everyone else. Obviously we want to please those close to us, not let them down, etc. But we have to realize that pleasing and obeying God should be our number one priority.
I have realized lately that I have subconsciously been trying to be someone who the people around me will like. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes we forget to truly be ourselves when we think people won’t like who we really are. It could even seem small and insignificant, something that doesn’t really matter, but if we are not true to ourselves, then who are we? If I am not true to myself, then who am I? It can be like wearing a mask. We pretend we’re okay in front of people, but inside we’re something else. Sometimes it’s a smile to hide a frown. Sometimes it’s a laugh to keep from crying. Yes, real men cry too.
Since when did we become this way? Trying to become like everyone else, we lose our own unique identity. God made each and every one of us different and unique. We each have a special role to play in the position God has put us in.
Sometimes I find myself wishing I had a relationship with God like so and so. While there are similarities with relationships with God that we all share, no two relationships are identical. Just like you have a friend who may have a bunch of friends, each one of their friends will have a different relationship with them just as you do. I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t love us each exactly the same, because He loves us each uniquely. We are all on different levels with Him. Different degrees of intimacy.
Some of us are just starting on our journey of knowing Him, while others have a deeper relationship. It doesn’t matter what level you’re on, as long as you’re pursuing Him, to know Him more. As long as you’re moving closer, as long as you’re progressing, that’s what really matters.
We are all unique. Just as there are tons of interests and personalities and things that make us all different and one of a kind, so does our relationships with God differ from each others. Just as there are similarities between us that make us all human, there are similarities with our relationships with God that make us all His children.
Lately I’ve been learning to be at peace with who I am. It’s the process of changing what I can, because I want to be better and more like the man God wants me to be. And accepting what I can’t change, knowing that He is ultimately in control.
Be transparent. Be who God made you to be. Please Him above all else, and everything else will work out. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. The right people will love you for who you are.