Friday, April 19, 2013

Being "Yourself"

Have you ever heard someone say, "Oh, be yourself"?

It's a phrase commonly heard in our society.  "Be yourself," "Be openminded," "Who cares what they think?"

It's a good theme, but read this verse from the Bible:

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." -Romans 3:23

This means that everyone has sinned.  ALL MAN HAS SINNED.  It's embedded in our nature, ever since Adam and Eve sinned.  It's been passed into all of us, and the world gradually gets worse (more open about sin).  "It's just part of who you are," they say.  "So enjoy yourself, and don't care what others [Christians] think or say!"

Whenever someone (on TV or personally) tells me, "Be yourself," it should NOT mean we keep on sinning because it's "how I think."  They think it excuses them from sinning, because it's just "them."  "Sin's part of me," someone could say.

But no, it doesn't excuse them.  And if you want to know why, compare it to me.

I'm told I'm creative.  And a good writer. 

I'm a good writer, but in order to pursue the stars I have to get better at writing.  I don't just say, "I'm this good a writer because it's just my personality."  First of all, that's pride (something I have too much of), and second of all, that won't get you anywhere.  People don't become famous because they're born geniuses.  They become famous because they improved their quality of work.  Bill Gates wasn't born knowing how to write computer code.  Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton weren't born knowing how to smash home runs.  Suzanne Collins wasn't born knowing how to develop and write ideas like the Hunger Games.  Sure, they all were born with raw talent (the ability to improve themselves in a certain area), but everyone has to hone their skills one way or another.

And so that's how we should approach our sin.  Not necessarily improving ourselves on our own, but working through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and God's Word to help make ourselves more like Christ. 

You might be wondering, "How can I improve myself but stay true to my personality?"  Also please note--you can stay true to your personality, but your nature is the one that needs improvement.  How do you "be yourself" while working to improve your nature?  You simply let the love of God shine through your willingness to work and display your abilities (mine is writing; others can draw, play sports, etc.). 

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