It’s Ok to Be Me……The Me that God Wants Me to Be
This morning I was reading my morning devotional, and it was taken from 1 Samuel 8:1, 3-7, 9-10, 19-22. This is where the Israelites ask, actually demand, Samuel to find them a king. Samuel’s sons had been set up as judges over the people, but they had turned out to be corrupt, so the Israelites were wanting a king. This saddened and disappointed Samuel, and so Samuel cried out to God. To Samuel’s surprise God told him to do what the people wanted and find them a king. God told Samuel that it wasn’t him they were rejecting, but the Israelites were actually rejecting God. God also instructed Samuel to warn the Israelites of how the king would behave. The Israelites did not care about the warning from God and still insisted on getting a king. But the Israelites motives were all wrong.
So Samuel told them, delivered God’s warning to the people who were asking him to give them a king…But the people wouldn’t listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We will have a king to rule us! Then we’ll be just like all the other nations. Our king will rule us and lead us and fight our battles.” (1 Samuel 8:10, 19-20 The Message)
“Then we’ll be just like all the other nations.” That’s why the Israelites wanted a king. They wanted to be just like everyone else. They didn’t want to be different. They didn’t want to have people on the outside looking at them and thinking they were weird because they weren’t like all the other nations. They wanted to blend in and not stand out.
How many of us have ever felt this way? I know I have, and as my devotion probed me to ponder on if I felt more like Samuel or more like the Israelites, it hit me that I was more like the Israelites (much to my disliking and hoping it wasn’t true). People in the ministry, I think, can relate to what I am saying. Being in the ministry does make you stand out (not in a proud and spotlight superstar kind of way). Being in the ministry does make you different. People don’t always know how to interact with people in the ministry. Some people feel intimidated by people in the ministry. Some people feel they have to act and behave in a certain way, that is not being themself, when they are around someone who is in the ministry. Where does that leave someone in the ministry? Felling awkward, ostracized, and alone.
I know I have, at times, felt left out, awkward, and alone due to being called into the ministry. I have felt like the Israelites and just wanted to be like everyone else. I have felt like I don’t want to be different. I don’t want to stand out. I just want to be able to be like “normal” people (whatever that is). I find it difficult sometimes to be in the ministry and to be a pastor’s wife. I feel that other people are thinking, “Don’t get close to her, she’s the pastor’s wife.” Or, “We can’t invite her to join us for such and such, because then we can’t be ourselves and have fun. Because you know she doesn’t cut up or let loose, she’s in ministry.”
As I really started to think about this during my devotion time, I thought to myself that I am who God wants me to be. I am where God wants me. I don’t really want to be anything or anyone else. I want to be who God wants me to be, and be where He wants me. If it means that I stand out, or that I’m different from “all the other nations” then so be it. God reminded me that it is ok to be me. He loves me, the me that He has created me to be. He doesn’t want me to be like everyone else (how boring would that be if everyone was just alike). God has created each of us unique and different for a reason. Each of us has a different purpose than the other, and God did that on purpose. God likes creativity, and if everyone was just like everyone else then there would be no creativity. As Christians (regardless of if we are called into the ministry or not) are called to be different. We aren’t suppose to look like the world. We are supposed to stand out from the rest of the world. We should embrace being different and rejoice at the fact that we aren’t “like all the other nations.” It’s ok to be different. It’s ok to be who you are and not be like everyone else.
Sometimes being different can be awkward and it can be lonely, but we must remember that our God will never leave us nor forsake us. He is always with us, so we are never alone. You know when we are like everyone else we cheat ourselves out of the life God has planned for us. We actually settle for less when you strive to be like “all the other nations.” In John 10:10 Jesus tells us that He came so that we might have life, and have it abundantly. An abundant life is one that is different. It is a life where someone is ok with being who they are, being who God wants them to be.
The challenge today is for each of us to embrace who we are. Embrace where God has us. Rejoice in the fact that we are different. And to seek to live life abundantly by being who we are in Him.