How many times have you been told to “Just be yourself!”? When expressing nerves about meeting new people, when going on a first date, when going to a job interview, when starting at a new school or a new job, when starting at a new church, when moving to a new city, and so on.
I’ve always found myself frustrated after hearing those words. What does it mean to be myself? What is myself? I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of different selves. I have the self I am at work. I have the self I am at church. I have the self I am when I go to the grocery store. I have the family-self, I have the friend-self, and I have the stranger/acquaintance-self.
I was thinking about this just the other day, as Miguel and I have had a lot of experiences “Just being ourselves” lately. New house, new city, new state, new church, new job, new grocery store, etc. Here’s what I concluded.
What if instead of acting like ourselves, we acted like God’s children?
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
1 John 3:1-3
What is our identity? Who are we? We are God’s children. I can’t remember where I first heard it, but someone I know always likes to say, “It doesn’t matter who we are, it matters whose we are.” And we’re God’s.
We aren’t like Him yet, because we are still sinners. But like John said, the day will come when we will be like Him. Until that day, we have to work to be like Him, living according to the commandments He gave us.
Wouldn’t that be a great reminder the next time you’re nervous about meeting a group of people? “Just be God’s child.” No other identity matters. We are God’s children and that is the best thing we can be.