(Don’t) Be YouJuly 1, 2023 2023-07-01 8:03
(Don’t) Be You
(Don’t) Be You
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children (NIV)
We live in the age of “Be You.” It is what the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor refers to as the Age of Authenticity. In this age, the highest morality is for one to embrace their unique self. And the greatest evil is to suggest someone’s unique self is not their very best self. Being entrenched in the Age of Authenticity, the church faces a great struggle.
Our greatest struggle is to not get swept up in the Age of Authenticity. The search to become one’s unique self, by its very nature, prohibits contentment. If the greatest high is my own uniqueness is to be me, unlike any other, I must continually compare and contrast myself with everyone else to ensure my own uniqueness. This is where our culture sits and therefore, especially in younger generations, there is a constant need to reinvent themselves to ensure they are unlike everyone else.
As Christians, we are called first and foremost to imitate God and He is seen through Christ. Our highest morality is not in finding ourselves but in finding Christ. It is not in our own uniqueness but in our resemblance to HIm.
The second great struggle for Christians is to not let the Age of Authenticity keep us from encouraging Christlikeness in others. Because our culture has declared Satan to be anyone or any institution attempting to form people into anything common, Christianity is and will continue to be demonized. Nevertheless, we must never let culture steal us away from our calling.
It is true that we have each been uniquely, fearfully, and wonderfully. And we have all been given gifts unique to each one of us. We have been placed uniquely in this world for purposeful relationships with others. We have unique personalities and passions. However, these are not our priorities. These unique qualities are best enjoyed after we set our highest goal to be like Christ, to think like Him, to live like Him, to respond like Him, and to love like Him.
If we prioritize our own uniqueness above Christlikeness, we will have made ourselves our own false god. We will seek our desires and others’ approval and acceptance before His desires and His approval. In the end, sinful man will never be satisfied and a life lived for self will never bring peace and contentment. But God is pleased with a heart set after Him first. And in His love and approval of our desire to be like Him, we find peace and our heart is content.
Prayer: Lord, teach me to first be like you. Amen.