In the book The Me I Want to Be, John Ortberg describes the counterfeits and the rivals that can keep us from becoming the person we are meant to be.
First, there’s the Me I Pretend to Be. John says, “God designed you to be you… and God designed us to delight in our actual lives. When I am growing toward the me I want to be, I am being freed from the me I pretend to be. I no longer try to convince people I am important while secretly fearing I am not.”1
Do you know that you are to delight in your life, to have fun with yourself? You may be silly or goofy at times or just too serious for others, but God wants you to delight in yourself. The reason we don’t delight in ourselves is because we pretend to be someone else. We spend more time trying to “build” ourselves up around others to make ourselves look good. When we pretend, we are creating a false life and a false identity about ourselves. It takes a lot of energy to maintain a pretending life. As John says, “Pretending to be someone we’re not is hard work.”2
What about you? Are you trying to pretend and live a false life? Here are some areas I listed to help us.
- Around certain people
- My job, career
- Church life
Second, there is the Me I Think I Should Be. Have you ever compared yourself to others? We all have and comparisons can kill spiritual growth. My wife and I are good examples. I enjoy getting up early in the morning and reading, studying the Word. I like to journal and make notes of my study time with God. Tiffani also likes to rise and spend time with God, but this was not the case when our four boys were babies. Tiffani would have loved to spend one hour alone with God but with babies that was very difficult. Our four boys are older now and she is able to spend more time with God but there were times Tiffani felt guilty by not being with God. But then it occurred to her that she was encountering God by loving and taking care of her children and home schooling them. She was investing in God by carrying out her calling as a mother and wife.
In our friendships we compare ourselves to each other. We look at other people’s talents, gifts, personality and spiritual growth and try to make ourselves into what they are doing. There is always a part of us that “should” be something else, to make us better. Granted, we should strive to be better in areas and be more disciplined, but God made us with our own likes and abilities and gifts. As John says, “Should is an important word for spiritual growth, but God’s plan is not for you to obey Him because you should even though you don’t want to. He made you to want His plan for you.”3
Have you ever compared yourself to others?
Vice President of Infusion Ministries