Life is full of obligations. There are lots of things that we have to do for others that are burdensome, unpleasant or just not fun. That is life. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: Will I serve with a bitter heart or a joyful heart? To give you an example, my daughter […]
I’ve lived almost a half-century on this earth, and it is only now that I truly am becoming the person God created me to be. I don’t think that I am alone. It takes time to become your unique self. It doesn’t happen overnight.
The problem is that we spend large parts of our lives being overly concerned about the needs of other people, when we should be concerned about growing into the person God created us to be. For instance, when we are young, we try to accommodate our parents and their need for us to be a certain way. Then, in our teens and early adulthood, we make adjustments to our interests and personalities so that we can have friends. And if we get married, unless we marry someone very mature, we have to deal with our spouses’ desires for us to be a certain way. However, at some point, most us wake up one morning and say, “Enough.”
Once you have said, “Enough,” that is when your life truly begins. Until then, we waste our time responding to the often very silly needs of other human beings. For example, I know a young lady whose mother used to put immense pressure on her to be thin. She was a high school and college athlete, but that wasn’t enough. She had to be a certain weight for her mother to be satisfied with her. So, this young lady went to extreme and unhealthy measures to satisfy her mother’s need for her to be a certain way. How very, very sad. At some point, she will hopefully say to her mother, “Enough.”
I know another young lady whose parents put immense pressure on her to get good grades. She is so overwhelmed by the pressure that she sees a therapist. Does that stop her parents from pressuring her? Shockingly, no. And she is too young to say “Enough” to her parents.
Unfortunately, parents aren’t the only people who make ridiculous demands on us. Friends and spouses do the same. I know an older woman who spent the better part of her adult life working two jobs just so she wouldn’t be home very much. The problem was that if she was home, then she had to deal with her husband’s incessant dissatisfaction with her and with his own life. So, it was easier for her to simply work all the time and avoid him.
If other people are hijacking your life with their needs and ideas about how you should be a different person, tell them, “Enough. Don’t bother me anymore.”
The problem is this: When you change yourself to meet the needs of others, you effectively are ignoring God. God made you in a certain way. He gave you certain personality traits in order for you to accomplish His will on this earth. So, for instance, if someone tells you that you aren’t adventurous enough, my goodness, ignore that person. God made you grounded and stable for a reason.
Or, let’s say that someone told you that you aren’t outgoing enough. Likewise, I believe that God gave you a quieter and gentler nature for a reason. Are you going to change yourself at the request of a flawed human being? Or are you going to be true to the personality and qualities that God gave you? I can assure you that the world has enough noisy people. There is no need to change who you are.
The key to becoming the person God made you to be is to be true to yourself. So, if you like reading books and taking long walks, and all your friends like going to the bars … well, find new friends. Find people who appreciate your quieter nature. And trust that God made you perfectly. He clearly created you to be more contemplative so that you would have insights that others won’t have.
It takes confidence to become the person God created you to be. The world isn’t necessarily going to give you positive feedback when you finally stop accommodating others and start being your true self. However, what the world appreciates and what God appreciates are two very different things. Make a decision as to who you are going to please.
I made the decision a long time ago to use my life to honor God. And that meant being who God made me to be. I will admit that I am quirky. I don’t fit in with regular folks. I don’t drink alcohol because it upsets my stomach. I read lots of books about religion because I find them to be interesting. I would much rather go out for a quiet, elegant dinner with my husband than go to a bar or a large party. I simply have zero interest in being “cool.”
I’ll admit that none of my quirkiness makes me popular. But I gave up on being popular ages ago. The people who really like and love me have zero interest in changing me. I am more concerned at this stage in my life in being popular with God. And I am most concerned about whether I am fulfilling His purpose for my life.
Are you the person God created you to be? Or have you adapted your personality to suit the needs of your family and friends? The greatest gift that you can give this world is to be yourself. God created you with unique qualities and talents for a reason. Enjoy them! Use them to serve the world.
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