Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them…”
I had the biggest crush on Maurice Simms during my teen years. At the time, no one could convince me that it wasn’t real love. I had plans that we would share our lives together… big house, four or five kids, flourishing careers and maybe even a dog. The only problem was… Maurice Simms barely knew that I even existed. Although he was one of my brother’s best friends and we all hung out, he always seemed to overlook me. But I noticed that LaChelle seemed to catch his eye. LaChelle was nothing like me. She stayed completely away from all sports, she always wore a dress, her hair was always curled very neatly and her lipstick seemed to always be perfectly applied. Me on the other hand, I hadn’t worn a dress (outside of Sunday) in years. My hair was always in a ponytail and lipstick was just not an option. But girls like LaChelle is what Maurice seemed to like.
My oldest, very girlie sister offered to give me a makeover to help me out. She washed and styled my hair, picked out a nice dress, painted my nails and applied a very subtle shade of lipstick and sent me out the door. I felt very silly walking to the park like that, but lo and behold, Maurice noticed me! It worked… Maurice Simms came over and talked to me. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy and excited. I tried to emulate what I saw LaChelle do and sure enough, Maurice seemed to like it! After a few weeks, I grew tired of the façade. I figured if he really liked me, he would like the real me. So I threw on my sweatpants and T-shirt and put my hair in a ponytail. I grabbed the basketball and headed for the park. I knew Maurice loved basketball, so I figured he’d be excited… but he wasn’t. He suddenly seemed embarrassed to be with me and asked me to go change. I had to decide which I loved more, my authentic self or someone that liked a fake me. I made the decision to love me, just the way I was.
So often, as Christians, we find ourselves changing who we really are in Christ to conform to the ways of the world. When society won’t accept us in our Christ-like image, we start to change in order to make others more comfortable. We don’t bless our food in public, because it makes others uncomfortable. We don’t proclaim the name of Jesus, because we want to be respectful of other religions. We don’t play gospel music in our car, because we don’t want to seem lame when others are riding with us. We are afraid to say no, because we know so many others will say yes. Over and over again, we cover up the very thing that makes us special to God, in hopes of gaining the attention of a world that’s not really interested in us in the first place.
Mrs. Freeman reminded us that we don’t have to put on a false performance to try to get the attention of others. We have to remain true to who God has called us to be and simply focus on pleasing Him. He’s the one that loves us, authentically and unconditionally. He loves us just as He created us. If we stay true to who He’s called us to be and allow Him to guide our path, He will lead us to the friendships and relationships that will honor him and won’t cause us to abandon our identity in Christ.
Right now you may be compromising who God has called you to be in order to fit in. You’ve forgotten who you are and whose you are and need God to restore your identity in Christ. If you are ready let go of the façade and false acceptance and walk in your true identity, pray this prayer with me:
Heavenly Father, I thank you for loving me enough to create me in your image and call me as your own. I’ve been consumed with getting the attention and acceptance of the world and I’ve forgotten who you called me to be. God forgive me for my sins and for straying from you. Restore unto me my true identity in Christ and give me the strength to seek you above all else. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By: Min. April Carter