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I have called you by name: you are mine.Isaiah 43:1
Who do you try to be like? Whose opinion matters to you?
When I was a kid, I really looked up to my older brother Mark. He was creative, fun, athletic, and kind. He wanted to, in the words of Thoreau, “suck the marrow out of life” and live deeply. He had a unique style and didn’t seem to care what anyone thought of it.
I thought he was great and I wanted him to like me so I tried to be like him. I tried to like the music he liked, to dress like him, and to learn to play guitar like him. It wasn’t until half way through high school that I really realized I had been pretending my whole life. I needed to choose for myself what I liked and what I didn’t. I had been choosing to be completely under the influence of my brother. I thought the only way people would like me was if I was like them. I was not being authentic. Instead of trying to figure out who I was, I tried to become someone else.
None of us will ever become who we are meant to be when we are trying to be somebody else.
I think this is something we all experience in one way or another. We look to parents, siblings, friends, teachers, coaches, and significant others for who we are and for our sense of worth. Don’t even get me started on social media. We try so hard to be someone that others like, that others accept. The problem is, we are looking to other broken humans to make us feel whole; other people who also are looking for acceptance and love, whose vision of us may be blurred by their own selfishness, jealousy, greed, lust, etc. I am convinced the only way we can truly love ourselves and others is by fixing our eyes on LOVE itself – on God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
When we fix our eyes on God, what will we see? We will see the most loving, merciful, wise and powerful Father who would DO ANYTHING for us, His children. We will see Jesus – a kind brother who wants to spend time with us and whose strong and perfect love for us makes us want to be better ourselves. We will see with our hearts the invisible love the Spirit is constantly pouring out like living water into our daily lives. We will see love that cannot be earned but is freely given in all circumstances if only we are open to receiving it.
God, my Creator, my Sanctifier, my Redeemer, You alone are worthy of my admiration and praise. Please help me look to You alone for my sense of worth. Thank you for loving me perfectly. I am sorry for the times I do not recognize Your Loving Presence in my life. Help me to love myself and others the way You do and help me to be more like You. Amen.