Our theme for this month: “The Gift of Being Yourself”
Our Bible verse for today: “Don’t let your beauty consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and wearing gold jewelry, but rather what is inside the heart – the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Don’t be phony”
You may remember from the first devotional in this series when I told you about the man I saw who was decked out in what I called “The Cleveland look”. He was wearing red and white plaid pants, a red polo shirt tucked in, a white patent leather belt and white patent leather shoes. It was a very unique look. Nobody else was dressed like that, but he didn’t seem to care.
That’s an example of someone who evidently was not easily influenced by the opinions of others and therefore dressed the way he wanted to, rather than based upon what other people might or might not like. On the other end of the spectrum are those people who are heavily influenced by what they believe other people think, and who try hard to gain their approval (sometimes to the point of absurdity). I’m thinking about the 60 year old bar fly with the poofed-up hair, way too much make-up, and the skin tight mini skirt. She’s 60 but trying hard to look 30, hoping that some man might find her attractive.
I think also of the 50 year old insurance salesman who, on the weekends, gets on his Harley Davidson motorcycle, dressed in black leathers, fake earrings, a large skull and bones necklace medallion, chains draped around his waist, and a fake motorcycle gang vest with the name of a phony gang on the back (The Bad Boys Gang). People like this guy, and the lady in the previous example, aren’t comfortable with who they really are and they’re therefore trying to pretend to be someone they’re not.
In his book “The Gift of Being Yourself” David Benner writes, “There are many false ways of achieving uniqueness. These all result from attempts to “create” a self rather than receive the gift of “my self-in-Christ”. But the uniqueness that comes from being our true self is not a uniqueness of our own making. Identity is never simply a creation. It is always a discovery. True identity is always a gift from God.
One of the best tools I have ever discovered for helping people to understand, appreciate, and embrace their God-given identity is the short Bible study “The Search for Signficance: Build your Self-Worth on God’s Truth”. It’s a wonderful study that helps us to understand, accept, and be happy with who we are in Christ. I’ll share some insights from that study with you in coming days.
The truth is that we don’t have to imitate other people, and we don’t have to try to be something we’re not. God is in the process of forming us into the individuals He wants us to be, and that will always result in the best you there can be.