I had a teacher my junior year of high school that taught me a lot of valuable things. Not only was he the best American history teacher (love ya, T) but also one of the greatest silent role models I have ever had. The first day of school, he made it into my “journal of quotes” (a place where I write down things people say that hold value and meaning to me) by saying:
“don’t fake it, own it.”
Of course he was reading off his syllabus and talking about incomplete assignments and cheating on quizzes you didn’t study for, but God allowed this quote to weave deeply into my heart and has now become something I live by.
Just to be completely real, I have always been someone who struggles with identity and comparison. I have realized that over the past couple years, I have, in a sense, lost myself by trying to be someone I am not. I tend to find role models in my local church, or even on social media, that reflect someone I strive to be… soon enough, I find myself changing the way I talk or write or dress because I am trying to be more like them. After years and years of doing this, I have tried to be so many different people that I have lost my authenticity and genuine heart. Notice it was a gradual change, not just something that happened over night.
I have been convicted of this recently and began to search myself and my heart to discover my identity in Christ. I have researched my spiritual gifts and my personality traits. Soon after this, I have come to find just how beautiful individuality is. It is beautiful to be different. I have gotten to the point where I am so tried of faking my personality in order to be more widely accepted or loved. It’s time I own up to the personality God has given me. And this ownership has caused me to experience God in so many new ways.
A prayer that has been on my heart is new, authentic, God-honoring and God-seeking friendships. God has definitely answered this payer and I am so thankful for His timing and perfect authority over all things. I have recently made a new friend whom I have a lot in common with and God has shown me through her how important and beautiful vulnerability is. Our friendship thus far has been built on pure honesty and openness and we’ve only known one another for a couple weeks, but she has already blessed me and related to me in so many ways. God has obviously been working in our friendship before we even knew each other existed, but I would have never known that if I hadn’t embraced who God made me to be.
Maybe you have felt the same way.
If you have struggled with finding your identity as I have, I encourage you to first, give it to God and be vulnerable with him about your needs and feelings, but also to pray for someone to come along who will help encourage you to shine Christ through your original personality that God gave you. It will be so much easier to serve him when you are doing it through your own gifts and passions and not someone else’s. I challenge you to own your personality and never fake it for the approval of others… or even the approval of yourself. God approves of his own handiwork, so let Him use you the way he intended to.
Often times we live this life selfishly- falsely believing it is about us. We ask God to approve of our choices, rather than asking Him what our choices are. The calling of the Christian life is simple, but never easy. If it were, we would not need Jesus. We are called to live a life according to Christ. We are called to surrender our own, fleshly, wants and desires and seek out the desire Jesus has for our life.
He has made you so special. Every weird quirk you have is beautiful and unique. Your nose is perfect. Your over-emotional tendencies are not bad. Your love for books and school is not weird. God made you this way. It is time we embrace it together. Let’s stop seeking affirmation and approval from social media, your boyfriend, your friend group or your teachers. Seek to gain approval from God and everything else will come with it. Give the control up, and you will find so much freedom in surrender. Stop faking it- OWN IT.
Song of Solomon 4:7
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”
“I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. giving thanks to God the Father through him.”