Do you know what I mean?
Are you true to who you were created to be or are you letting others define you?
My eyes opened this morning at 4 a.m. I wanted to go back to sleep, but my mind was awake. It traveled to all sorts of memories, good and bad. I thanked God for the man I married because I remembered men from my past I could have married, and I know for sure I would have been put into a box, a cage with my wings clipped.
Now, another person cannot take away our freedom within unless we let him or her. But sometimes we forget we have a choice. Sometimes we want someone's approval so bad we act the way we think they want us to act. This is not what Jesus wants for any of us. God created us to be free within. To be ourselves. To be the people He created us to be.
In The Message Devotional Bible, Eugene H. Peterson writes, "Each of us is seen as a being created in love and for love. Each of us is seen as a personality who isn't defined by our mistakes and sins or by other people's wishes and fantasies but by God's love for us, free to respond to his creative word to us.
"The gospel shatters the stereotypes that confine us to uncomfortable roles. Paul put this together in one of his famous sentences: 'In Christ's family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal' (Galatians 3:28). And then he went on to draw the conclusion: 'Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.' (5:1)."
Peterson also comments on what crowds can do to us (there's a reason God calls us sheep). Peterson writes, "Any time we turn over part of our lives to the crowd, we become less human, less alive. On the other hand, every time we retrieve a part of our lives from the crowd and respond to God's call to us, we're that much more ourselves, more human."
The world needs us to be us. The world, your community, your family, your friends, your co-workers, your employees, your church family, your acquaintances need you to be you in all your humanity. It takes courage to be who we were created to be, but it is so worth it (and feels so good).