Authentically You Day 5: Embracing Me
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20, ESV)
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. (Romans 12:4-6, ESV)
We’ve talked a lot about authenticity over the past couple of days. We’ve looked at pressure to conform, how we were created for a unique purpose, our need for attention, and how comparison has affected our lives. Each of these has its own effect on our personalities, so now that we understand what they can do to us, let’s take a closer look at ourselves and who we truly are.
When I was a kid under the age of ten, I was my truest self as far as my personality goes. I was so much freer and open, without the burden of pressure and comparison. I can almost pinpoint the moment when my childhood was lost and I gave in to pressure. I specifically remember when I was eleven years old, sitting in my history class and looking around the room. I noticed that when other girls were sitting, their stomachs didn’t quite pooch out as much as mine did. I was filled with embarrassment and immediately started sucking in my stomach so it wasn’t as noticeable. I never stopped doing that. I started suppressing more and more of myself. I acted unaffected and often opposite to what I felt so people around me couldn’t see how fragile I really was. I don’t think I’m alone in this experience. So many of us, if not all of us, have lost our true selves to the pressures of society and comparison culture. So, how do we get back to ourselves?
The first step in embracing ourselves is embracing who we are and giving ourselves the compassion and forgiveness we need. We have all made mistakes that have kept us from growing. When we let mistakes or failures of our past define us, we cannot truly embrace who we are or grow into who we are meant to be. We cannot grow when we’re stuck in the past. So, forgive yourself. After all, Christ already has. In fact, when we hold on to our past self and our mistakes, we are questioning God’s forgiveness. We are choosing to believe that we are not forgiven, which is contrary to what we know to be true. Show your past self some grace and compassion and move forward, knowing that no matter where you have been, you can do amazing things.
Once we’ve embraced and forgiven our past selves, we can truly embrace who we are in the present. Embrace who Christ has made you to be. If you’re gifted in emotional intelligence, embrace it. If you’re gifted in knowledge, embrace it. If you’re gifted in understanding, embrace it. If you’re gifted in teaching, embrace it. No matter what amazing talents God has given you, embrace them! He has created you as part of the body of Christ for a specific purpose, and you can step into that role with complete confidence. There are no insignificant or inferior gifts. The body cannot function properly when one of its pieces is missing, so embrace the position He has put you in. When you embrace who you are and step into the role He has made for you, you will do things you never imagined you could.
My challenge to you today is to really think about who you are. Are you hiding away parts of yourself in order to fit in? Are you feeling inferior because you aren’t doing something society deems more important? Are you changing what you believe or how you act to get attention? Go back to the basics of who you are. Embrace your personality, your body, and your mind. Accept that what you have is enough and move forward, seeking Christ and only Him. Strive for His approval and not the world’s. Use Him as your ruler and grow more and more like Him. Be you whether people like it or not, and be content in His work. You were made for a unique purpose, so go out and do it.