“Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.”
St. Catherine of Sienna
As a speaker I am tempted to compare myself with other speakers and I always come up short. I wish I was more charismatic, an entertaining story teller or one with profound insights. Yet, the Word of God instructs us not to compare ourselves with others. (II Corinthians 10:12)
A few weeks ago I prepared a message on how to hear God’s voice, to share with the discipleship school at church. God in His kindness spoke a word to help me overcome the comparison trap and to accept myself as He made me. This is what He said:
Just be yourself. You don’t have to perform. You don’t have to drum things up. Just. Be. You. For when you are you, you are at the point of the very best of My creation-how and why I created you. When you hold back due to fear and insecurity, you are being less than I created you to be. When you are comfortable in your own skin, confident in who I’ve made you to be, then it’s those times I shine most brightly. You don’t need to overachieve either, trying to prove to yourself or others, the wonderful person you already are. Share what you know and have experienced and share what the Holy Spirit has taught you. You don’t have to prepare as much as simply ‘be.’ Be the you I’ve created you to be. Just be yourself. I didn’t create you to be like so and so. I created you to be Norma. Remember: when you are yourself, not striving to be like someone else, nor holding back who you are or hiding your true self, that’s when I receive the most glory-when My creation is being and doing what I have created them for!
Wow, what a freeing word of encouragement to be myself. After all, Psalm 139:14 says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” If I really believe that, then I can rest in being who God made me to be, no more and no less.
I may not be a flashy or humorous speaker. But my experiences with God and who He made me to be can still bring encouragement to those who listen. I don’t have to be different than who I am in order for God to use me as His vessel.
More than freedom from those nagging thoughts of striving to be like other speakers, what motivates me to be myself is knowing it’s at that point that God receives the greatest glory. Now that’s something that melts my butter! Be yourself so God is glorified.
“To wish you are someone else is to waste the person you are.”