change

Fluffy

So, through some of mine own reading and devotions, I was inspired to talk about the opposing side of being you for a purpose. The more I thought about it, my concern, was that in all that I have written it may have seemed like just waking up one day and deciding to be you for a purpose will be a piece of cake and there will be nothing that will hinder the process, so to speak. In many cases, that is easier said than done.

In this society there are so many things that can hinder out light from shining, because we really want to be accepted, find a sense of belonging, and be liked. There are philosophies of how a person should be based on race and gender alone, and they definitely have their place. However, if you want to look at media alone, what is presented as the “norm” or the ways of a general groups of people is fabricated if not false, yet people believe that what they see and hear is right, about beauty, sex, gender roles, success, money, lifestyle, etc.

People are confused, male and females alike who struggle with knowing who they are and carry burdens of emptiness, loneliness and deep insecurities. These often times can be the result of parents telling them how to behave and what how they should or shouldn’t act, and not being supportive of their desires, thus have learned to conform to what a way that was pleasing to their parents or teachers or other major influences. One could say that the prescription drug issue is the result of people unsure of who they are or have been told not to be as they truly are.

Too often in this culture we try to change people and people many times have others’ best interest at heart, but it tends to add unneeded pressure and low self-esteem. Case and point, I am naturally introverted, but too many times I can recall people trying to get me to be more extroverted or have called me shy or told me that I need to open up more. No offense to these individuals, some who were family, but what they were trying to make me, I knew that’s not who I was and I was okay with who I was, but their lack of understanding or knowing how to interact with me made me feel lost and alone, as if something was wrong with me. But still, I count all to the grace of God that though I had those struggles, less now than I do now, I couldn’t make myself be who I knew I wasn’t. Even times I attempted, I feel uncomfortable, trapped, and just awkward.

In being you for a purpose, most times is not an overnight fluffy-feeling experience There are barriers and walls that need to be broken, wounds that needs to be healed, masks that need to be removed, hearts that need to be softened, closet doors even that need to be opened. Even from a young age we try to please and if our natural way of being is challenged we try to fit in or do enough to please those around us so they can care for us and attempt for their affection and love. In the process far too many lose themselves and are put in this never-ending cycle of finding their identity or just become numb to it all because they have been worked on for so long by media, by culture, by family, by their environment, almost like a game of survival.

With all this confusion that we are privy to, there is so much more value in having a Creator. The Creator knows His creation, its purpose, and how it will best function. My encouragement to you today, whoever is reading this, is to get to know your Creator and find your freedom to be all that He has created you to be. Even growing for a person like me who grew up in a positive and supportive environment, I was still a sinner. Though I never went off the deep end, I realized that for me to be all that He created me to be, there were somethings about me that I needed to change and my heart and way of thinking and motivation had to be changed into His liking. I say that because many times you will hear, as I believed, that when you come to Jesus, he doesn’t want to change you, he wants to enhance you. That is not true. Because of our sin nature and the way way we are programmed, as I have mentioned earlier, there is so much of us that God has to chisel away so that we more and more look like His Son and glow in out identities as He desired us to be. A part of which is understanding there is a time and place for everything, there is a place to be outspoken and a place to be quiet, so the more you know your Maker, the more you understand how you operate at your best and when you are in optimal position to be as uniquely awesome as you were meant to be in any given moment. God knows you better than you, and know what you are capable of better than you. Let Him come in and do his handiwork.

Yes, it may hurt. Yes, it may be uncomfortable. Yes, it may require you to take risk and take a giant leap of faith. Yes, you may have to leave some people behind. Yes, you may have to get rid of some habits. Yes, you may at times feel alone. Yes, you more often than none be the odd one out. Yes, your desires may change. Yes, you may have to let go, forgive those that hurt you, and move on. Yes, people will look at you funny and talk about you. Yes, you will make mistakes. Yes, you will fail. Yes, there will be tears. Yes, there will be doubts and uncertainties. Yes, you will question yourself and at other times question God. Yes, you will be broken, Yes, you will be humbled. Yes, you will have to empty yourself and be vulnerable. Yes, you will be in a cocoon of some sort like a butterfly. Yes, you will be purged. Yes, there will be pressure as an oyster developing a pearl or coal transforming into a diamond. Yes, you will have to go through the refining process, and go into the fire like gold. Yes, there people will walk away. Yes, there will be storms and distractions. Yes, the enemy will hunt you and go after you with all he has.

But yes, it is all so worth it. Yes, you will find freedom. Yes, you will find peace, satisfaction, and contentment. Yes, God can and will fulfill His promises. Yes, He will do amazing things in, by, through, and for you. Yes, the glory and beauty of being you for a purpose will far outweigh the struggle to get back or to finally discover who you really are, through the eyes of the One that created you. All in all, understand your Creator and you will understand you, His creation. Don’t be afraid to get back to you. Don’t give up on yourself, God, your creator still has you alive for a reason, so trust Him with your life. Don’t leave with your work undone.

Simply, put, be you for a purpose and watch God use you and position you in places you could never have have dreamed or imagined.

Change or Not So Much? Oh! & It’s Okay to be Nice

There is a false belief in the Christian community that I used to believe. “God doesn’t want to change you; He wants to enhance you.” → something to that extent anyway. The more I have grown, the more I have understood this not be true.

Over and over, Scripture tells of God transforming us, our minds, our hearts, and desires. The primary tell of a convert is the change internally and externally, from the way we speak (not only cussing but speaking negatively), how we treat others, how we view ourselves (pride, worthless), how we view [our] sin, how we minister, our desires, our will, how we think, how we react, our emotions, how we walk, how we dress, how we take care of our bodies, what we do to our bodies, even our personality. When Jesus comes into our lives, he is not looking to do a tweek here and there, he desires to do a total remodeling. As CS Lewis and Elisabeth Elliott described, it’s not until we fully surrender and submit to the Lordship of our Creator, that we are able to be who we were meant to be.

Granted, there are definitely [unique] things about us that will guide and give a glimpse as to how the Lord wants to use in fulfilling His purpose for our lives, but God can’t use us in the magnitude He desires until we give Him all of ourselves, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and let Him break us, shake us, mold us, and make us into the individuals He crafted and destined us to be. How can we know what was set in place for us way back in eternity past without consulting with the One who created us in His very image? And the beautiful thing about it, He is so amazingly utterly creative that His purpose is not for us to be all the same or be bland, mundane or robotic; He created us like different snowflakes, no one else past, present, or future is like us, each with our own beauty and uniqueness.

The more we get to know Him, the more we get to know ourselves. As we are ourselves for a purpose, the more able we are to fulfill the awesome purpose He has for us, the more the world will yearn for the God in us, and the more satisfied we will be.

One side note: I hear a lot of people say, “I’m going to stop being nice to everyone. People are taking my kindness for a weakness,” or some similar wording to the same thinking. For starters to be honest, and this is something I had to learn, that is being selfish. As the Holy Spirit truly leads us, we should give without pause, and giving by no means is a sign of weakness. Of course wisdom and discernment are important as well. And if I dare say, those people that are “taking advantage,” in many cases are not the people we need to associate ourselves with, but we settle and for one reason or another keep people in our lives that God has tried to remove. We many times put ourselves in undesirable situations, because God’s intent is not to hurt us, make us look stupid or foolish. Accordingly, this is another part of the change the Lord seeks to do, burning bridges with those that have no help and or hinder us in fulfilling our purpose.

Kindness and gentleness is a fruit of the spirit, generosity is a gift, and meekness is associated with being blessed and or happy. Loving despite the opposition and the lack of reciprocation, shows strength, humility, and courage. Jesus was the epitome of them all, and look where he ended up, on a cross. So why should we think just because we are nice to even the most demanding people, people will always respond favorably? On the other hand, to stop being “nice” because of what another person does to you, shows the power someone has over you. Furthermore, we will be held accountable for what we do, not for what others do to us, no matter what it is they say or do.

To be you for a purpose is taking responsibility for your own actions and words, not putting the blame on others. This in turn actually frees us from the bondage of bitterness, anger, depression, and hatred, because we have control over how we choose to respond, without basing it on what others do.

Be you for a purpose, which may mean a change, remembering that it’s okay to be nice, I promise.