Have you consciously thought about the image you project? Most adolescents go through times when they try on various identities to see what fits. As young adults, many of us tire of worrying about what others think. So, we try to be "ourselves," whoever that may be.
In our thirties, we may be confronted by someone who points out a downside to the us we are portraying. Perhaps, it is part of our fallen nature. Suddenly, the game changes. Instead of being ourselves, we decide to try to be someone better than the egocentric man or woman who "tells it like it is" or at least, how we see it. Some would call this desire to be better: maturity.
Being a Christian
If we are particularly blessed, our search for ourselves eventually drives us to find our identity in Christ. What could be better than emulating Jesus in our thoughts, actions and reactions? After all, the word Christians started out meaning little Christs.
"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For 'who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?' But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).
So our Christian walk becomes more of a process than just trying to be like Jesus. We want to get the mind of Christ inside our thinking process. As He directs our thoughts and begins to order our steps, we become more in tune with God's plan for us in the world.
This begs a major question: is there any room for individuality in the Christian walk? Should our life's goal be to decrease being us, so that we can increase being like God?
God made each of us to play different roles and to demonstrate unique aspects of God's character. While we all should seek to display the redeemed version of us, we aren't meant to be carbon copies of each other. You are a one-of-a-kind miracle. Several places in the New Testament, we are reminded that Christians receive various gifts and that we play different roles within the Body of Christ.
So How Do We Know If We Are Doing It Right?
Regardless of our gifts or the roles we play, our lives are meant to bear fruit for God's Kingdom on Earth. Paul defined this for the Galatians, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23).
If we regularly show love to those around us, we are on the right track. If the result of our life work brings joy, we are on the right track. If we can do our life's work with kindness, we are on the right track.
Let's all try to have the Mind of Christ, so we can be the true person that God created at our birth. Unique, divinely-ordained, you are amazing!