Do not be “yourself”

She instilled fear in everyone she met.

Her voice, like an agitated swarm of bees, stung anyone who approached her. Her words pierced like swords (Prov. 12:18). Her tongue crushed her spirit (Prov. 15: 4). Her speech had mortal power (Prov. 18:21). All who saw her prepared themselves internally.

Her philosophy was identical to that of her previous roommate, who, after eating too much Chinese food, could smile and say, “Better out than in.” Her lack of culture was bound to manifest itself – no matter how much discomfort it brought to everyone else in the room.

And no one could be offended, because everyone liked to remind themselves: “She is the way she is.” Complaining about her was tantamount to complaining about the water for being wet, or about the stones for being hard. Gravity is gravity, and she is the way she is. Her character, according to this view, was a scientifically based inevitability, something that she could not change. Complaining about her meant complaining about biology.

Well-behaved – it was not about her. Politeness was not her main quality. It was rumored that she was born that way.

Don’t be yourself

“Just be yourself,” “be natural,” “be honest with yourself” are the life mottos of many people today. And with such mottos, naturalness takes precedence over courtesy, self-realization triumphs over self-discipline, and one’s own “I”, whatever it may be, is always exalted and never condemned.

And in an imperceptible way, we can accept this philosophy in the church. And although every command in the Bible protests against it, every definition of sin directly condemns it, every description of holiness and God’s judgment warns us against believing in this philosophy, we too easily condone the tendency to sin in our own person.

Oh, you mean her? She’s just so strong-willed and independent woman. That´s why she does not obey her husband.

Oh, that brother? Don’t worry, he is not intentionally inhospitable and cold to people. He’s just shy and generally introverted.

Yes, he does not act as a spiritual leader in the family, but do not worry. He just doesn’t want to be pushy – that is not who he is.

Why isn’t she growing in knowledge of God’s Word? Just because she doesn’t like reading.

Why does that brother seem to flirt with every girl he meets? Oh, don’t bother. He’s just such a playful person – well, that’s just the kind of person he is.

This unshakable sense of self is contrary to Biblical thinking. Our personality must obey God’s standards, and not vice versa.

Wives, obey your husbands, whether you are strong-willed or not

Introverts, be hospitable and kind, even if you tend to be alone from time to time.

Husbands, be the spiritual leaders of your wives and build them up in the Word, even if you prefer to do it without pressure and from time to time.

Christians, meditate on God’s Word day and night, even if you haven’t read any other books since high school.

Romeo, restrain yourself from the charm of women’s hearts, even if it is not difficult for you to communicate with the opposite sex.

“You must be born again”

From the moment of the Fall, being yourself is the opposite of what God desires. After the Fall, our “real Me” is unsurpassed in egocentrism, they hate God, refusing to appreciate Him the most. Therefore, the “real We” deserves death.

And this is precisely the essence of the whole scandal around the Gospel. It tells every man, woman, and child — whether criminal, “good man,” religious, or whoever — that they must be born again in order to enter the Kingdom of God (John 3: 3). It tells us that the person who is “not born-again” and who tries to just “be himself,” is constantly threatened by God’s wrath and only increases His condemnation (Rom. 2: 4-5).

Whether you are Mr. Rogers, Gandhi or Stalin, being “yourself” does not lead to the righteousness that God requires. We all need God’s righteousness as a free gift in Christ (Phil. 3: 8-11), and we all need to be new creatures of the Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God (John 3: 5).

Jesus does not say, “Be yourself.” He says, “You must be born again” (John 3: 7).

Be something more

And Jesus died on the cross so that we could be born again. He took upon Himself the wrath of His Father when we were “just ourselves,” and sent the Holy Spirit to make us new creatures in Him. And the Spirit dwells within us, who are born-again, prompting us to move further and further away from who we already are.

These “new us” are better than we could have imagined. We are not created to become ideal versions of ourselves, but to reflect the image of God Himself. God predestined our salvation to make us like His Son (Rom. 8:29), the One who, if we saw Him right now, as Lewis wrote, “we would have a serious desire to worship” (Weight of Glory, 45) …

“Just be yourself” is good advice only if it means “be that person: new creature in Christ.”

Paul returns to this over and over again in his epistles:

“You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord: act like children of light.” (Ephesians 5: 8)

In other words, Paul is telling Christians to be who they are in Christ. We must walk as the children of light – not because we must become light, but because, thanks to the work of the almighty God, we already are. We live as new creatures with new feelings and joys because, thanks to the restorative work of the Spirit, we are already new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17).

And we become more and more like who we already are: when we look at Christ and try to be like Him (2 Cor. 3:18). We do not look into ourselves and do not become more and more like what we see inside ourselves, but we look to Him and to those who imitate Him, and, thanks to the Holy Spirit, become what we look at(Phil. 3:17).

Don’t be yourself. Be something more. Be who God has ordained you to be. Be who you are in Jesus.

Source: Не будь собой — Богоблог (bogoblog.ru)

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