“…[B]y the grace of God I am what I am.” (Romans 15:10)
For those of a certain age they might remember that quote that we use in the title of this post. “I Yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam” is a quote made famous by one sailor man named Popeye. The meaning of the quote is rather clear. Popeye knew that he was who he was and there was no point in trying to alter that. The culture that grew up watching Popeye grew up being comfortable in their own skin. This is something that many in our own culture does not understand and that includes our Christian culture.
This quote did not exactly originate with Popeye. If you take note to our Biblical text at the top you will see that Paul said it first and he credits the grace of God for it’s truth. However, due to a lack of Bible study by today’s “Christian” they may not know or benefit from Paul’s teaching. Even those that are familiar with this inspired teaching may still struggle with it in a experiential way.
So often we believers are not satisfied with who we are and we attempt to be someone or something else. I other words we are not satisfied with who or what God has made us to be. When a believer tries to be someone/thing different we are , in fact, saying to the Potter, “Why hast Thou made me this way.”
We are not saying that we should never try to grow and be better Christians but what we are saying is that at our core we are who God has made us and this cannot be improved upon.
I speak from sad experience. We worked different companies and We recall this one in particular. This companies “culture” was one of positivity even if it had to be forced and faked. I knew a number of employees at this company from working with them prior. I knew these employees and they were really trying to be someone they weren’t. It was sad and trying as they tried to be these fake people even when we were alone and they tried to help me become someone I wasn’t. To my sorrow I fell for it. I attempted to be someone and something I wasn’t and boy did I fit in. I was given many opportunities and fit in with many of the top guys. What was the problem then, you may ask. The problem was me and my misery. I thought I had to be this ultra positive person for my job security and forgot that God was in charge and that He made me a certain way and my entire attitude was offensive to Him.
Things changed…I changed. I decided to embrace the person God wired me to be. I through the forced positivity out and embraced my true self. It was a shock to those I worked with. No more did I agree with their bad decisions; no more did I sit quietly by when people lied and took God’s Name in vein. No more did I allow self professed believers to get away with things. No more did I let the owner of the company offend God. I once found a Bible in the owner’s trash. I withdrew the Bible and put it in a viewable spot on my desk as a rebuke to this man. This man comes fro a long line of reformed ministers and this is what he thinks of Scripture. He saw the Book and understood the open rebuke. I did not keep my job much longer as my position was eliminated due to costs. I learned later from a source still employed that I was fired due to the Bible incident. I lost my job and negative things have been said about me since then but I am what I am by the grace of God. It is better to be disliked by man but pleasing to God. Prior to my termination and after I embraced my divine wiring I gained the respect by many of the men I worked with and that meant more than the respect of upper management for being someone I was not. And knowing God is pleased is infinitely better than both!!!
It is far better to be yourself up front than to be someone you are not only to show your divine wiring later.
We have seen lost men trying to portray themselves as saved; we have seen saved men compromising the faith; we have seen saved men living like saved men and willing to pay the costs thereof. The third type is happiest of all and the most fulfilled of all.
Paul states that we are who we are and this is by the grace of God. This then means that absent the grace of God we were who we were. Do you remember those days? Do you remember the days when there was no sin in your life? or at least you weren’t aware of it or concerned with it? Do you remember the day when “Jesus” meant no more to you than a word or an expletive? Remember the day when Christianity was code for annoying people? Do you remember the time when the Bible was just the bible? This is not the memories of the lost man but the characteristics of his life without the grace of God.
The grace of God has changed all of life for the believer. God’s grace has made the Name of the Lord Jesus to be the most important Name in all the world to us. His Name has become music to our spiritual ear.We recognize that there is no other name whereby a man may be saved. This Name opens the door to the throne of grace and allows us entrance and gives us boldness within that room. The Bible is not just the bible but it is the very Word(s) of Almighty God. It is the sole authority on this earth for believers. The word Christianity means family and deep spiritual bonds. And sin affects us greatly and causes us to run to God in the spirit of confession and the promise of forgiveness.
If you are an extrovert or an introvert embrace it. If you are a loner by divine wiring embrace it but remember others have a right to your time. You will need to find a balance…see the life of Lord Jesus for an example of balance. If you are of the talkative sort embrace it but be careful not to over share and to be slow to speak as this will give you time to think things through. If you are of the quiet and thoughtful sort embrace it and while you are embracing your divine wiring be quick to hear and listen and speak when afterward. If you are quick to rebuke embrace it as long as you always examine yourself first and rebuke in and with love and tenderness until your rebuke is ignored.
-Seek to balance all of your characteristics. – Look to God in Prayer for His guidance in this matter. -Study the characteristics of men and women in Scripture. Acknowledge God as your Maker and thank Him for making you you. Repent for times of unhappiness with who you are at your core. If you are unhappy with your core self seek repent and seek God’s help. Thank God for His grace and request grace to be a better you for God’s sake, pleasure, and purpose.
“…[D]o I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
“For they (the lost) loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43)