The Me I Want to Be

Last night, our Bible Study group started a new series of lessons using a DVD and print materials from John Ortberg. It’s called The Me I Want to Be. Fascinating topic. And so very relevant.

Some people might wonder why I–at sixty-eight–would find that topic so relevant. After all, I’m not only growing older day by day, but have reached the point where change that isn’t forced on me isn’t likely to happen. So, doesn’t that mean I’m already as much “the me I want to be” as I’m ever going to be?

Now that’s a scary thought. Although I can see progress in many areas of my life–I’m much more patient, kind, and thoughtful than I used to be–I still haven’t reached all of my life’s goals. Furthermore, I don’t expect to.

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to be satisfied with myself and stop growing.

Mr. Ortberg lists some counterfeit versions of me:

  • The “me” I pretend to be
  • The “me” I think I should be
  • The “me” other people want me to be
  • The “me” I’m afraid God wants
  • The “me” that fails to be

But then he concludes that the best version of me is…

  • The “me” I’m meant to be.

You might want to check out his book  for more of an in-depth look at this whole idea.

I’d like to believe I’ve passed the point of pretending to be someone I’m not or trying to live up to other people’s expectations. I much prefer just being myself. If I’m slow at times, if I’m overly careful about some things and careless about others, if I’m a million-and-one other ways that fail to meet my own expectations, why fret about it?

That doesn’t mean I’m satisfied with myself, however. I’m declining physically–maybe even mentally at times–but “the ‘me’ I’m meant to be” still gives me something to shoot for. Not unrealistic goals. I’m not apt to turn from a super-quiet introvert into the life of the party, for example. Or to become a well-known singer/songwriter.

I don’t believe God ever intended for me to be either of those things. According to the Bible, He knew what I would be like long before my birth. He gave me strengths and weaknesses and inclinations–everything that makes me me.

But He also gave me the desire to love Him and want to become the person He wants me to be. That doesn’t mean following a set of rules.

Yes, there are things a Christian should do–and some he shouldn’t do. But the important thing is trusting God enough to place my life fully in His hands. Not just when things are going wrong, but when they’re going well and I might be tempted to think I’ responsible for my success.

Being “the ‘me’ I’m meant to be” requires walking daily with God. Not trying to walk ahead of Him as if I think so highly of myself that I think I don’t have to let things happen in His time. And not falling behind as if I’m fearful that He isn’t able to bring me safely through every valley.

What are your thoughts about this subject? Are you the “me” God means for you to be, or are you one of the counterfeit versions of “me”? Please share a comment if you feel led to.

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I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

Be on the lookout for my next novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, which releases on November 25.

Best regards,
Roger

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4 thoughts on “The Me I Want to Be

  1. When you mentioned this it made me think of Ps 139:16..”.I don’t believe God ever intended for me to be either of those things. According to the Bible, He knew what I would be like long before my birth. He gave me strengths and weaknesses and inclinations–everything that makes me me.”
    While I can certainly agree God could know you from the moment of conception I do not like to think he ‘gave’ us weaknesses or strengths… Being able to determine what one is is different from making something… nope…
    More likely he permitted us to be here with certain weaknesses or abilities… what interests him most is what we do with what we have… but being formed or woven in the lowest part of the Earth to me suggests he allowed the genenetic machinery to express itself (including the lottery of which gamete pairs with which,as each one is completely different ) and accepted the result, just as we have to… this seems the fairest scenario… totally unfair any other way…
    As for him giving you the desire to love him I also have to disagree… this assumes that those who do not love god have not been given that desire which doesn’ seem fair, either… more likely (and better still) is the notion that you have come to love Him due to your personal motives… seems He’d like that better, that you did it because you decided to do it and not being helped along… yep… this is what makes the universe work… we are all individual creatures with our own special packet of DNA to use as we please… when we do things that please Him it is truly pleasing and sometimes completely unexpected!
    It’s his knowing us since before our birth that give him pleasure in seeing how we act based on our poor or excellent abilitites that come to us in the random, unknown way ”made in secret”…
    Either way, I find myself completely mystified by the whole affair and think it a marvel we are even able to discuss these things…

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    • Tom, you’ve made some very intriguing and thought-provoking points. I definitely didn’t intend to say that God gives us our weaknesses. In fact, I believe He intended for us to be perfect, just as Adam and Eve were perfect initially.

      But because God wanted mankind to love Him, He had to give us free will.

      When Adam and Eve sinned, God punished them by making death a factor in the human condition. And free will has contributed to the trail of sin that continues to this day. We can no longer be as whole or as perfect as Adam and Eve while still living in the Garden of Eden, but with God’s help we have the ultimate hope of everlasting life in a place that is perfect.

      Yes, we are all individual creatures, and, yes, God wants to see each of us use what he’s given us in the way that’s most pleasing to Him. I believe everyone has a desire to know God, but not everyone has the opportunity to know Him personally through faith in Jesus.

      Because of free will, we are not God’s little pet people. If we were, our affection for Him wouldn’t be love, because you can’t make anyone love someone else.

      I love Psalm 139. I’m glad you quoted from it.

      I lost my original response to your post and have failed to say everything I tried saying the first time. *sigh* But you’re right that the whole thing is mystifying and that our ability to discuss it is a marvel.

      Like

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