What It Takes to Be Yourself
“Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One? “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Mark 14:60-62
It all started while listening to a podcast and deciding to take a break from social media. I was about to release this blog, and I wasn’t happy with the content I was writing for it. It didn’t sound like me. It wasn’t what I wanted to write. It just wasn’t who I am.
Throughout my break from social media, I realized how much social media influenced me. But then I came to recognize the influence of the people I met, the music I listen to, the books I read, and the movies I watched. It wasn’t all bad influence; a lot of it was good.
But when we are kids, our parents warn us to stay away from certain things. Don’t hang out with the wrong friends. Don’t listen to that music or watch that movie. But I never thought about it changing who I was: not just my character, but my interests and the way I portrayed myself.
So, this week I asked myself, what does it take to be yourself?
It Takes Honesty
I can’t say I’ve always been proud of who I am. I can’t say that I’ve always been myself or that I haven’t done things I’d rather forget. If I did, it wouldn’t be the truth.
Jesus never denied who He was. He always spoke the truth. Jesus was the purest example of being one-hundred percent genuine.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
It takes honesty to admit who you are, which includes admitting the parts about yourself you don’t like. But if you live life being who you are, you find freedom in no longer having to imprison your uniqueness. You’re just you.
It Takes Courage
Courage is more than just doing what scares you; it is having strength at those times too.
I am always encouraged when I remember this moment in Jesus' story from Mark 14:62. Because at that moment, it didn’t just take honesty for Jesus to admit who He was, it took courage.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
It isn’t easy being yourself. We live in a world of standards. But when you are brave enough to be who you are, who God made you, you’ll find it was worth all the scary things it took to get there.
It Takes Caution
I mentioned how our parents warn us about things that influence us. It is our job to make sure we aware in life so that we don’t lose sight of who we are.
Jesus had a purpose on earth, and He was careful to speak at the right time so that the will of God would be fulfilled.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise. Ephesians 5:15
When everything around you tries to influence you, remember you have a purpose. You were created for a purpose, and no one but you with all your uniqueness can fulfill it. Protect who God made you to be.
It Takes Knowing Who You Are
I saved the most important one for last. Because before you can speak the truth about who you are, before you can be brave and be yourself, before you can protect who you are, you have to know who you are.
Jesus knew the answer to that question. He knew who He was. Do you know who you are?
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:14-16
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12
It takes honesty to be yourself. It takes courage. It takes caution. It takes knowing who you are—and that who you are is enough.
So, go be the one and only you.