Will the real you please stand up!

I love being with friends over a good meal and exchanging stories and laughing into the late evening.  This evening was different.  It seemed that the evening I had envisioned had turned into one-upmanship. It was subtle and cloaked as a Pinterest board of comparisons.  As one person wisely stated, “Pinterest is that place where people present their perfection for all of us to observe.”  We often fall into comparing what we think as our own underwhelmed reality to the staged, cropped, filtered photos and we end up feeling terrible about who we are.  That can lead to our projecting who we think others’ want us to be, or who we want to be in the future, rather than just being who we are now!  Of course this is not to dis Pinterest, this applies to Facebook, LinkedIn or any social medium where we feel the need to enlarge ourselves in hope of feeling qualified!

I have been reading a book that I would like to just throw out because I am hoping every page turned it will get better.  Have you ever read a book like that?  But something will not let me put it down.  The author made a statement that has challenged my thinking:  God can only love the authentic you!  Not the person you think you are supposed to be or in the future plan to be, but rather who you are right now with all the warts, issues, dreams unfulfilled and heartache and joys.  That means accepting every part of yourself including those parts you would rather ignore.  It means knowing who you are and are not in and through Jesus.  Sometimes I must admit that I allow my failures, broken dreams or disappointments to shout more loudly than my ability to hear or see opportunity!

The feeling of being unqualified produces all kinds of bizarre thoughts.  And most of us fall into pretending to have it all together flashing social pictures up on digital boards when really we are falling apart.  What would you feel if I were to say that when you think everything is falling apart that perhaps the truth is you are on the verge of everything coming together?  Sometimes we “tinker” around on social media and become embarrassed about who we are and where we think we should be in this stage of our lives.  But God loves us too much to bless someone I am not.  He longs to bless us, the real me, with all of my ups and downs and pros and cons.  So as unqualified as I may think I am in comparison to others, 2 Corinthians 3:5 -6a says:

 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything coming from us, but our competence comes from God. But God has made us sufficient.

God calls me.  God equips me.  God empowers me.  God opens doors for me.  So what I think my qualifications or lack are is relatively irrelevant. That deflates the thinking that it is all up to me.  It is recognizing I owe it all to my Father.  It is stepping into destiny based not on who I think I am or my ability, but on who God is and what he will do through me.  That is freedom to stand and let the real me be seen.

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