Sunday, March 24, 2013

Be You, Everyone Else Is Taken

“The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me.” 

― W.H. Auden

Or, you could just be you...

Ever look at a picture and wonder, "Do I really look like that?" Ever hear your voice on a recording and wonder "Do I really sound like that?" We all have. But is this nonsense? We have mirrors. We can hear ourselves when we speak. We do the things we do. How are these things surprising to us? They are because a picture, and a recording, is not how we see and hear ourselves, they are the way others see and hear us.

Now I'm a big guy. I get that. I've talked about that before. Yet when I see pictures of me, I am truly amazed. To me, I'm just Pete. I go to the gym. I work. I love my family and play with my Boys. I teach the Word. I love helping others find the Truth. But to others, I can be perceived, as my Niece tells me often, "A big scary guy." I will never forget this. I saw this Picture of me standing with my friend Rich. Now Rich is 6 foot Five and, weighs blah, blah, blah. Not saying. But he's a big guy. Much taller than I ETC. So I see this picture and realize, I'm actually bigger than him. I'm actually wider. I remember telling my Niece this and her response? "Duh?"

This is a normal thing. A phenomena if you will. Even though we look in mirrors, we do not see ourselves as others do. We see what we chose to see. We create a self we wish we were. A self we want to be. A reason in essence to love ourselves.

In a way, we understand this phenomena. So we attempt to become, in essence, two different people. I saw this quote the other day.. “The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me.” I added to it "Or, you could just be you."

"But Pete, this is normal. Even Biblical. Did Paul not do this as well?" In.....

1 Corinthians 9:
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
"So what's wrong with this? People want to be loved by others." But here is the thing. Paul did not do these things to be loved by others. He never changed who he was, for self gain or acceptance of others. He did so in the Hope that he could reach others with the Truth of God, and that "some" might be saved. Know who else did this? Jesus.

Luke 5:
27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.

28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him.

29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.

30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?

31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.

32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

33 And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?

34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?

35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
So not only did Jesus come into a Sinner's Home, He and His Disciples ate whatever Matthew and the others prepared, and drank whatever they drank. Which was Wine. Remember this Passage?

Matthew 11:
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
Think about this. Jesus was always with Sinners. He had a habit of being with people but not giving in to Sin. He was with Sinners but showed it was possible to resist Sin. He was with drunkards without getting drunk. Think about this also. He healed the sex addicted woman at the well. He did not shun her. He cast out Mary Magdalene’s demons. He did not reject her. He helped Zacchaeus overcome his greed. How, He went to his house. He touched the Leper in order to heal him. He did not run away and hide.
31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.

32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
It's all well and fine, and you should, go to Church and be with Brothers and Sisters in Christ. But if that is all you are doing, what profit do you have? You have to be with Sinners to reach Sinners. Jesus went to people where they were and talked to them in the middle of what they were doing. He ate with them. He drank with them. He spent time with them. He got to know them and they got to know Him. He did not go up to them and get in their face and tell them they were evil and going to hell. He did not tell them they have to change who they were in order for Him to talk to them. He went to them. Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, later Saul who became Paul. All these were simply living their lives, doing the things they did, when Jesus came to them. They did not go to Him.

We should not be concerned about how others see us. We should not be creating a character, a made up person, to gain acceptance of men. We should simple be who we are.

Proverbs 31:
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
This applies to everyone. Not just Women. Jesus tells us..

Matthew 23:
28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Peter warns us of this.
1 Peter 2:
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
And in....

2 Corinthians 4:
15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Remember the story I told you about the Checkout Girl? I go into this discount Grocery, get some stuff, and go to check out. I meet this beautiful, young Black Girl at the register. I say beautiful because she is. Outside and in. You could see instantly she had a GREAT Spirit about her. I was pretty sure that she is a Child of God, although, I had never met her before, nor did I ask.. I did ask, say it with me, "How's your day going?" She said "Fine."

Next time I went in, we talked a little bit more. Seems, just me taking a few seconds to ask her about her day, helped her to remember me. Then every time I went in, we talked. We became friends. She knew me on sight, I knew her. We knew NOTHING about each other, but here we were friends. Talking about each other's lives. Like the fact she was trying to become a Teacher. How my Boys were. ETC.

So the store started this, not Promotion, but this, I don't know what you call it. But you buy this bag of food for $6.00 and they give it to a local Church to give out to those less fortunate. So every time I went in, I found myself buying one of those bags. Didn't really think about it.

So this one day, I'm checking out, and she says to me, "You are the most generous, genuine, caring, person I have met in a long time." Then she gave me one of the biggest hugs I've had in a long time. I said "Life is too short to live it through Hate." She then stopped what she was doing and said, "I wish more people would understand what you just said."

She has since moved on. She is a Teacher now. I'm telling you that those kids are blessed to have her. Now let me ask you this. Same Store. Same Girl. I go in and walk up to the register, and say to her "You better get your life right. If not, you are going to hell. You live the way I 'm telling you. Think the way I tell you. Act the way I tell you. I know better than you. Oh, and I love you." How do you think that would have went? Who is this old White guy, telling this young Black girl, ANYTHING? Who in the Hell does he think he is?

You know what the sad thing is? She said I was "generous, genuine, and caring," and it effected her. Why? Because that is becoming more and more rare. Was I trying to be? Nope. She got to SEE the real me. She SAW how I acted. She SAW the way I treated others. She witnessed my "good deeds" of buying the Bags. She may have thought all kinds of things when she first saw me. But then, she got to actually SEE who I really am, through the way I am. Just being me.

God does not want you to put on a show. Jesus never told you to pretend to be something you are not. Ever meet a fake person? We see them all the time. They portray this image when they are in public, but then we find out the real person. Most of the time, when we do, we do not like the real person. No. As Children of God, we need to simply be who we are. Jesus said...

Matthew 7:
12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
By YOUR Works, people will know you. How do you think you will be taken by others, if you say one thing, yet they witness you do the other? Go around and tell people that they are wrong for doing this or that, then they see you, doing this or that. "Do as I say, not as I do." never works. Just BE you.

I have come to understand, that just me being me, effects others. The Checkout Girl wanted to know more about me, just because of what she witnessed. Coworkers over the years, wanted to learn more about me, for just being me. People I never met before told their friends, that this or that that I posted on Online Discussion Boards, helped them and changed their lives. I never knew them, nor will I ever meet them. I had no idea that something I said, would change their lives. I was just being me.

You do not need to dress in today's fashions, drive high class expensive cars, or buy that $10.00 cup of coffee. You do not need to speak this or that way. You do not need to follow the heard. just be you. Trust me, the heard mentality is so prevalent, that when one is truly themselves, they stand out. They are noticed. A Zebra in a heard of Buffalo is noticed. Be the Zebra.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com
Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

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