Everyone needs timeless principles that will guide them through the times of thick fog. One principle that I think is so important and yet lost in our modern day, which is astounding with the clamor for “innovation” and “cutting-edge” thinking. The Principle is this: Be yourself!
At first glance, this principle is so simplistic one can quickly and easily dismiss it. But it is much more challenging than we give it credit. How many pastors seek to be like the “lastest and greatest” pastor? How many churches try to emulate a “successful” church? What is tragic about not only these two example but countless others is the fact that when we “copy” others everyone loses! We miss out on being who God intended us to be and the greater Body of Christ misses out on our unique contribution to the Kingdom.
Now let me clarify a few things. First of all, we can never be who we are purposed by God to be until we totally submit to God and allow His Spirit to conform us to the image of Christ. We are all “deformed” in our soul and none of us will arrive until we get to heaven. But the grace of God, through the continued work of the Spirit, is seeking to restore us. We must work with Him in that restoration. However, that does not mean we are to become like someone else. God created you to be unique. Your life experiences, wiring, passions, and giftedness make you who you are – which is like no one else. Certainly there are people that we need to imitate but keep that imitation strictly contained to character traits. Exclude mannerisms and quirks. Be yourself.
Notice in the familiar account of David (later King David) on the front lines facing Goliath. King Saul fitted David out in his armor. But David had not “tested” Saul’s armor and he took it off. Then he used what God had allowed him to experience – the sling and the smooth stone!! Too many people today are trying to wear King Saul’s armor. It may be shiny and appealing, but don’t be deceived, it is not YOU! Be true to God by being yourself.
Allow God to continue to shape you into who HE wants you to be. Avoid the temptation to be the person that you admire!