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They’re an interesting concept.
They contain incredible power and yet we use them so frivolously.
They’ve so valuable and yet so often we throw them away as if they’re free.
People hang their lives on the words of others. A child looking for encouragement. A spouse looking for reassurance. We look for wisdom in the books we read. Whatever the problem, words seem to have the answer.
But not all words are helpful. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? What a lie! As we grow, we realize how hurtful words can be and how long the effects of that damage last. Just ask any therapist.
There’s three words that puzzle me. I think they might haunt you too. They’re not big or fancy, but they confuse taking us to places we don’t want to go. They scare us, because we struggle to answer the question they ask:
Am I alone, or do you struggle with those words too? It seems so easy but it’s actually really hard. Am I a father? Entrepreneur? Speaker? Writer? Podcaster? Husband? Believer? I don’t know.
Let’s take believer. What does that even mean? Someone who believes in God? So does the ‘bad’ guy. What about someone who believes in God and is trying to follow Him daily? There’s millions who would say that yet some of them will do incredibly terrible things.
Husband? I’ve been married for 27 years but I don’t have that one figured out.
As I go through the list, I find more problems than help until my overthinking arrives at a place where I stop and wonder do I really know who I am at all?
When I was 13 I thought I’d be the next Billy Graham. Now, I’d be happy if I could just read my Bible and understand it somedays. Michael Jackson was telling us he was bad when I was thinking I was good. Now I’m thinking maybe I am the bad one.
We could do the cheesy answer: ‘Oh, I’m exactly what the Bible says I am’. Erm… What does that even mean? Healed doesn’t work for someone dying of cancer. Delivered doesn’t work for someone struggling with mental wellness. Oh I know, I know, we can get all theological and talk about ultimate healing and eschatological whatnot, but Jesus didn’t. He never told someone to walk away looking forward to the next life. He handled his stuff in the now.
It seems that most days I’m just Mike. Trying to be the best Mike I can be on any given day. As an entrepreneur, people around me have expectations, but I know I can’t live up to them all. It’s ok.
As a Christian, God has expectations from me. So do people. They oftentimes are different. We think we’ve got to be good, to check those boxes next to the commandments. Jesus didn’t talk about them much either. It seems He was more interested in us just loving and hanging out with Him a little.
So today as you wonder who are you? I leave you with the profound words of Dr. Seuss:
Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You
Whoever you might be for today, be the you that remembers Jesus loves you, and that you love Him too.