I am of the absolute conviction that I am the expression of a unique variety of the infinite God. And I believe this to be true also for each individual person. This underlying conviction undergirds my personal relationship with God.
So, you would expect that with this depth of conviction, I would neither feel nor succumb to the pressure to conform. Indeed for the most part I don’t. But then, I often do. I often find it very difficult to just be me.
Even when I’m sure that it’s the will of God to walk a certain path, I would often struggle to do so—a rather frustrating experience that leaves me utterly disgusted with myself.
Sometimes I wonder if the Apostle Peter may have struggled with this issue.
He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”~Acts 10:11-14 NIV
I can relate to Peter’s dilemma. In my spiritual journeys and travels, I know what it feels like to be told by the Lord to do things that are unconventional; things that others may not understand; things that even fellow believers may consider to be ‘wrong’; things that obviously contradict my personal code of right and wrong.
And I know what it’s like to be numbed by the attendant morbid scare that, if I dared to walk in my own personal truth and follow the Lord’s direction for my life, I would be misunderstood, criticized and probably rejected by so-called brethren. Something Peter eventually had to contend with.
In those moments I just can’t help but wonder why? Why am I so terrified of being who God made me to be? Why am I so scared of being rejected? Why do I pretend to be who I’m not? Why do I live in so much fear? Why do I live as though trapped?
Letting my life become a compromise is not something I’ll ever be proud of. There are socially accepted straight jackets in our immediate societies—you know, the way everybody expects everybody to think and act. And, from within and without, there are pressures to fit into these straight jackets; into these moulds and boxes. Every now and then, I catch myself succumbing to these pressures; yielding my life and destiny to the judgements of other human beings. And I always feel horrible, and disgusted with myself whenever this happens.
Of course, for the most part, as I stated earlier, I don’t think I really do that. As far as I’m concerned, to my God I stand or fall. No man has any right to judge me. And I do not have the right to judge another person. Each to his own. Only God is the judge.
I only follow the Spirit of Truth that lives within me. I’m led by Him alone. I prefer to be free; free as the wind. I prefer to be happy; to be authentic; to be who God made me.
What about you? What do you prefer? And, can you dare to be you?