As we develop as responsible and mature individuals we sometimes find ourselves caught between our own feelings and the criticisms of others. Although completely natural, it is quite easy for us to lose our identity and forget who we are in Christ.
We are certainly strange creatures. I imagine what it would be like if animals were to observe us, they would giggle because of our actions. I can see them calling us fools.
Have you ever met a dog trying to be a bird? Or a fish trying to be a cat? I have never heard of such a thing but amazingly we do it everyday; at work, in school, home, not to mention church. Where do we get this belief system? Thinking that if we act like this person we will be more liked, or if we dress like this we will feel important, people will see us.
I really started to learn more about myself through some quiet time alone and doing some careful self-assessment. I went on a break to find the true reasons behind some decisions i made and who or what kind of thinking influenced me to do it. For example, in University I hated staying up late, to be honest I still do but I can distinctly remember nights I went out to party NOT because I wanted to but because I wanted to be liked or be around a group of people. It was torture, I would be sleepy and annoyed, ready to go home but waited because I didn’t want anyone to say I was a party pooper.
When I started my first job I did favours for everyone, even when I was overwhelmed with work to do. If someone asked me to assist with something I would immediately say Yes! When I was reprimanded by someone I would hide for days, cry and drown myself in self-pity and sometimes believe the negative things they said about me.
As the challenges of life mold you, you start to realize that what people say about you is not always true and the comments don’t necessarily have to hurt you. I have also learnt that we compromise too many times for people who aren’t important.
Staying true to yourself also means embracing your background. It starts with a simple question, “Who am I?” Once this question is answered correctly, there will no longer be a need to fit in. Repeat after me, “I am a child of God, my sins are forgiven because Christ died on the cross to save me. Because of His love and grace I am a heir in God’s Kingdom, therefore I seek no other approval but His.”
Knowing who we are allows us to choose our paths and battles wisely. We know what is expected of us and from whom. Staying true to ourselves proves that we don’t really need everyone to accept us and we don’t need to change to gain acceptance from them.