I spent a lot of time trying to be someone I wasn’t.
Let me explain.
When my life was radically flipped upside down on July 7th, 2016, everything changed. I was on the edge of losing my wife and two daughters. I had been trapped in a 33-year pornography addiction. I had no clue about how much God truly loved me.
I was, to put it plainly, lost. Big time.
When the revelation of God’s unconditional love flooded my heart, I was instantly transformed into a new creation. For the first time in my life, it was more than head knowledge. It was more than theology. It was more than some doctrine I believed.
It was real. What used to be “I know who God is” became “I know God and now have a relationship with Him as a Father.”
He became more than some angry being “up there” punishing everyone for their wicked deeds. God became personal. Intimate. Relational. Someone I talk to every day. A friend who knows everything about me. A Father who guides, corrects, and potters me.
I wanted to be so much more than I was. I would watch teachers, preachers, and evangelists online and feel a desire to emulate their lives. I wanted to run out in public, laying hands on the sick. Casting out demons. Seeing huge signs and wonders. (There’s nothing wrong with doing these, by the way.)
I even began to feel guilty if I walked past someone at Wal-Mart and didn’t share Jesus with them. Later, I would get lost in the “what if” thoughts. What if they were suicidal? What if no one had ever shared Christ with them? What if I was their only hope?
I would allow guilt and condemnation make me feel as if I wasn’t living up to the standards of authentic Christian living.
Then something dawned on me. A truth that probably so many of you already know.
We all have a part to play in the Body.
We all have unique gifts to offer. Talents that will reach people in ways other believers may not be able to.
Some of us excel at speaking. Some at teaching. Some at counseling. Some at ministering. Some at singing. Some at hospitality. Some at praying.
And then there are many, like me, who can use their gift of writing to reach people.
I don’t have to be outgoing and comfortable speaking in front people. I don’t have to know precisely where a Bible verse is when someone is struggling. I don’t have to go around laying hands on everyone who crosses my path. I don’t even have to share Jesus with everyone I meet.
I just have to be me.
I believe the deeper and more intimate I get into relationship with my Father, He may cultivate some of these other gifts in my life.
I believe it’s the calling of every Believer to shine a light for the world to see. I also think we will shine differently. We will each use the gifts we have to be effective in our sphere of influence.
In the human body, if every member were a mouth, we would be in trouble. If every member were a hand, well, you get the idea. The body consists of individual members carrying out specific functions to work efficiently.
It’s the same in the Body of Christ.
You don’t have to be someone else. You don’t have to try and walk in gifts you don’t have. Just be you.
And I will keep on learning how to be me.
Together, we will shine a bright light in a darkened world.