Powerful thought from Barnabas Piper:
In the movie Hitch, there is a scene where Will Smith’s character is making suggestions to another character of how he should dress for a date. The other character says, “I’m just not sure these shoes are me.” Smith looks at him and says, “Right now, you is a very fluid concept.” The same should be true for each of us. To stick ourselves in the static status of “me” is to limit ourselves to our detriment.
“That’s just who I am.” We’ve all heard people say it and very likely have said it ourselves. It’s that ubiquitous explanation (read: excuse) for some action or attitude that doesn’t sit well with someone else. Sometimes it’s taste in clothes, like the shoes from the scene in Hitch. It could be the way we talk (loud, fast, with an accent, etc.) More often, though, it’s something opinionated, hurtful, selfish. And we hide behind “That’s just who I am.”
“That’s just the way I am.” “That’s not me.” That’s just arrogant. It smacks of faithless fatalism. Phrases like these assume a certain achievement and superiority in the status of “me” and “I am.” Only God can rightfully be described as “I AM.” The rest of us are becoming.
We ought never to be satisfied or limited with who we are. It should never remain the same for long. Yes, God did give us tendencies and unique personalities through our genetic codes and our familial and cultural upbringings. But God also gives us grace to either grow those in positive directions or overcome them. “Who I am” is much less relevant and meaningful than who I am becoming.
If you are a person who hides behind the mantle of “me,” you are choosing conflict, disappointment, and frustration. You are risking alienation from those around you as you plant your flag in one place and they move on. You will be a stationary obstacle in their way as they travel on the path to who they are becoming.
Let “you” be a fluid concept in the hands of God. Have the humility to recognize needed changes and to appreciate outside input. Yes, God gave you tendencies and a personality. But God is I AM. You are becoming.