”Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that…Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”
–Galatians 6:4-5 The Message
Found this passage of scripture yesterday on a page that I subscribe to on facebook. I love The Message Bible because it speaks with everyday language that I can understand and more easily, apply to my life.
With life’s cares, burdens, stresses and other things – it becomes difficult to even remember who I am – what my calling is – and just how to do it. And yet I am instructed to – BE WHO I AM.
Being who I am is difficult. Not so much in my own head – although that can be a problem too after years of masking who I am – in order to fit it – get along with – or remain with the status quo. Mostly it is hard because the image I project is sometimes very different from who I really am. And my responses are carefully guarded after so long of being careful not to offend – and not to be rejected for being different.
But in this scripture I am encouraged to be me. To do a thorough inventory of myself. Not what others see me as – or want me to be. Not what I have carefully tried to conceal from people and even myself – but to break free from other thoughts and ideas that others would try to project on me – and just be me.
I have many stories from past ministry life that would raise the hair on the back of your neck – how others tried to muzzle me or tell me what was right for me – how to act – what to say – how to dress etc. etc. It made me very cautious – it made me very conflicted inside. I wasn’t sure for many years – who I was – or even if I was satisfied with being different. Even as recent as two years ago I had a situation where again I felt free to be me – only to be blasted because I was expressing that part of me that had been shut up for so long. I was once again muzzled and felt humiliated for my words – by someone I thought understood and encouraged me to be me! What a concept. I was wrong – and my attempt at being myself and breaking free was met in the end with lack of understanding and rejection. But the last couple of years have taught me something. I like who I am. I like being free to say and do what I like – without having to fit in to anyone else’s agenda or protocol. And I have lost my fear. Others cannot hurt me anymore in the same way. Or silence me. I have found myself.
And once I was satisfied with who that someone was – something great happened – the most truthful and honest me came out – I then began to evaluate my gifting according to what I had been equipped for and possess – and I began to sink into that work.
When I think about sinking into something – I think about my nice comfortable bed. Settling in, making myself comfortable and staying a while. In the same way – I am encouraged to settle in and make myself comfortable – stay for a while with the things and gifts that God has equipped and given to me.
Being an artist and musician – I love the next part of the verse. I am instructed to do my ‘creative best’ with my own life – the responsibility rests inside of me.
Thank you Lord for creating me with unique abilities and gifts. Help me find the courage to be myself – lose the fear of rejection, betrayal, and disregard from those who did not like – or did not agree – with who I am. Help me find the freedom and safety in your warm and loving regard. Knowing that you are smiling and cheering me on! As I come closer and closer to being the one who you created with your purpose running through me.
With God’s help – I shall be myself.