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The Real You

I don’t think any of us wake up in the morning intending to be someone we’re not. It just sort of happens. Before we know it, we’ve spent too long in front of the mirror covering up our imperfections, putting “ourselves” together. We’ve opened the closet and slipped on the Under Armour, the hipster v-neck, the goodie-two-shoes, the rose colored glasses. We’ve walk out the door, hopped in the car, turned up the radio, and by the time we’ve pulled into the parking lot, we have changed into an entirely different person.

Why do we do this?

Do we not like ourselves? Are we afraid others don’t like us either? Well, if you’re like me, the honest answer’s – yes! I mean, sort of. I like myself – it’s just there’s these things, lots of things actually, that I’d rather no one know about me.

You know what I mean?

You know what I mean? I’d rather be Mr. Perfect without even trying, but the best I’ve ever been able to come up with is Mr. Looks-Like-He’s Perfect. I am an impersonation. I fake it to make it. Just like you. Just like everybody. This world we live in is filled with imposters, and you and I are card-carrying members.

Which is tragic, isn’t it? Because like we talked about in the introduction, never in history has there ever been a person just like you. So if you are not YOU, God misses out on the person he created you to be – you miss out on the purpose he has for you – we miss out on the blessing you were meant to be to this world. You see? We all lose when you are not yourself.

But it’s hard! It’s scary. Because it’s one thing to be accused of something you are not – it’s a whole different thing to be rejected for who you are. That’s the reason for the “Under Armour.” We disguise our true selves to deflect the pain and protect our hearts. Unfortunately, the disguise also prevents us from experiencing true love and being accepted for who we are.

Let’s see if Jesus can’t help us. After all, he was Mr. Perfect. Not only that, he knows the real you. He made the real you. He made you that way on purpose. And you were so valuable to him he died to get you back. And if that were not enough, he considers your heart prime real estate. You heard me. Jesus could live anywhere in the universe, but where he chooses to live is in your heart.

In a very true sense, you are God’s one and only. And you know what we usually call one and only things? We call them priceless. Your face might have pimples and your feet might stink and that cowlick in your hair might never go away, but the fact remains the same: you are priceless, my friend. The truth about you is you’re worth a king’s ransom. And if you have a problem with me saying this about you, take it up with the Big Guy. He proved it by sacrificing his own son for you.

Why? Because you’re worth it!

Who?

YOU!

Jesus died so you could become the REAL YOU!

That’s what this life is about. You see, when you get to know Jesus and fall in love with him so deeply you follow him wherever he leads and the two of you get so close that you start resembling each other – you know what happens? It’s crazy, but it’s true: you start living in a way that feels totally brand new and totally natural all at the same time. Why’s that? Because a life with Jesus is the life you were made to live.

Ned Erickson

Ned is the Founder and Executive Director of the Winston-Salem Fellows, a non-profit dedicated to equipping people to live seamless lives as they grow into the men and women they were created to be. He is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed novel Clay. He, his wife, two children, dogs, rabbit, guinea pig, turtle, and chickens live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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