culture

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.

Otiose

There are so many things that we can busy ourselves with today, between work, family, ministry, hobbies, friends, projects, weight loss, school, memberships, business, even keeping up with the flowers on the porch. We do what we can to be comfortable and to be successful, to feel accomplished, and to feel that we have made something of ourselves; we want to feel needed and important.

In the Western culture, it is all about independence and making sure “I got mine” and self is taken care of. So we put every bit of effort as we can to make it from day to day, some more ambitiously as others, striving to meet the world’s expectation of worth. We get educated and chase money, pursue dreams or pursue that which we think will make us happy. With all this running around, it gets tiring and it is so easy to lose focus and sight of what is really important. Our priorities get messed up and we tend to leave others behind.

Our efforts are temporal at best, surface level satisfaction, and after a while it becomes mundane and we just go through the motions of life even though we aren’t truly living. When you look at it, it’s as if we operate and function as if there are mirrors everywhere we go, and at some point we look in one and see ourselves smiling; we are the center of our universe and frankly put, that’s vanity. This “all about me” society has crippled us, and at some point we have to ask, what I’m doing, will it last? Am I leaving the world in better condition than when I first arrived? What does it all count for?

Living a life of purpose means that you understand first and foremost, that it is not about you. Your being is not for the purpose of making yourself happy, but pouring out and impacting others lives. Those are the things we take with us when we cross over. Furthermore, we can get so caught up and wonder why we are tired and all but satisfied, because we fail to confer with the Author of our life. Though there are many things that are good, not everything will push towards the specific destiny that God has for each of His children.

When we work in our human effort and move without the hand of the living and active God, it is all worthless and means nothing. He is the only one that gives us value, not money, possessions, accomplishments, degrees, good deeds, etc. It’s only the work for Him that will last. We can try all we want, but apart from Christ, it all means nothing, no matter how “noble” or “positive” or “good” what we do is. Just because it’s not bad, doesn’t mean it’s what God has for you to do. As I have read before, we tend to be unsatisfied and tired most when we do what the Lord is not telling us to do, not necessarily living a sinful life, but simply not walking in His will.

Being you for a purpose means that you understand that if God is not behind you, there is no point in going forward in a direction, which may also mean cutting things and people off, good or bad, that are hindering Him doing what He has purposed to do in, by, through and for you. It means acknowledging that God is the One that gives life and meaning to everything. It means recognizing that time is too precious to waste on things that have no eternal significance. Know that in God alone will you find true and everlasting satisfaction because He created you; He is the only one that can lead you and make you into all you were destined to become. It’s easy to be busy, but the goal is to make it count, and without Christ, that is impossible to do.

Be you for a purpose, not living or being otiose.

Psalm 127: 1-2