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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“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.