"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Who am I?

I was talking with a friend today about who we are and when and where it is that we are our “real” self. The other day I wondered about this. Are we most ourselves in those situations that we are comfortable and suited for? It’s at these times that I feel like I am truly myself. But what about those times when I’m not in my forte, when I’m not in my ideal situation? It seems that it is these times that are the most frequent. They are the difficult times when I must strive to be a man of God, when I must strive to be the same man I am in my ideal surrounding. Which me is the real me? When looking at Job, was he the prosperous man that he was before God allowed everything to be taken away, or was he the man that cursed the day he was born…or was he both. God counted Job as a man of righteousness, and he was blessed following all his torment. He never cursed God, and loved God despite the circumstances, though he hated them and thought God was being unfair. I’ve never, and probably never will face the excruciating agony that Job faced, but there will be times and situations throughout life that I am incredibly comfortable with, and others where I feel out of place, uncomfortable, or down right hurt in. I believe we have a choice. We can choose to be our “real” self, our best self in those ideal moments and places where we truly feel like ourselves, those places we feel we were designed for, or we can choos to be our "real" self in any situation, giving of ourselves to God no matter how hard it is, ideal or not. Growth takes place in the ideal, but the ideal is temporary. We can grow in those places of awkwardness, those places of, “It’s nice, but it’s sure not (insert special place here)”, and those places of pain as well (pain is a good teacher). It’s these places that we face far more often, giving us a much greater opportunity for growth. I don’t want to be a one dimensional Christian, only giving my best when I’m in my best. I want to take the gift of my ideal surroundings when I’m in them and offer myself up to God in those, and I want to give myself to God when I’m surrounded by the less then ideal as well. I want to be one person, not many. We are made up of many parts. I am made up of good and bad, kindness and cruelty. God is One; His character doesn’t conflict with itself as all human's character does. I recognize that I’ll never be able to be completely the same person that I am here (wherever here may be) as I am somewhere else or in some other situation (wherever that may be). I change like the seasons just as every person does. This truth must be recognized, but that shouldn’t stop me from striving to be my best, the person God designed me to be, at all times, and praising the God who is the best at all times.

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