Why is it so difficult to be yourself? My heart and mind seem to be in a constant wrestling match. I long to live into my unique identity and yet I find myself thinking I should try and be like someone else.
“My writing should sound more like my favorite authors. My sentences aren’t as rich and descriptive as theirs. I should write longer posts. The experts say they should be at least 500 words. I need to change something with my sermons. If only I could preach more like Bill Hybels. I need to look at my approach to small groups. The church down the street is thriving. They are producing great results. I should do what they’re doing.”
Can you relate? Parenting, business, body type, grandkids, clothes, church, activity, use of time…we often measure our lives against others. The comparison trap is not a cliche. It is real friends, and it is sucking the life out of us! When we focus on comparing and analyzing, we make a shift. We take our eyes off of the mysterious, marvelous path God has set out for us and fall into the trap of aligning our lives with others. Our roots grow deep down into “measuring up” rather than our God-given unique identity. We trade in radically different for superficial sameness. Slowly we assimilate, convinced resistance is futile. It wrecks our hearts and leaves us with all sorts of feelings…resentment, bitterness, emptiness, and guilt.
By the way…God never uses guilt as a motivator. In fact, He says there is no condemnation in Christ. So, if you are feeling guilty for making choices that feed your soul, align with your God-given design and cultivate your calling…know that is NOT God. In fact, if we take a close look at the scriptures we’ll find that as people believe, live and lead radically different, they face mounting resistance. It’s normal. You’re in good company.
E.E. Cummings wrote:
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
I couldn’t agree more. Believing, living and leading radically different takes courage and boldness. No one can do it for you. The thought may seem overwhelming and exhausting, but with each small step, you will gain strength and find your footing.
You’re you. I’m me. Unique. Wonderful. Different. Just the way it should be.
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. But we are never alone. The God who created us lives inside us and is willing and able to do more than we can ask or imagine.
*What is one area of life where you need to stop comparing yourself to others?
*What thoughts do you meditate on that keep you in the comparison trap?
*What small step can you take today to live into your God-given identity?