At the cusp of attending the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference, I’m taking this quote to heart. As a writer, it is so easy to crave to be like someone else. You know, the old adage, “When I grow up, I want to be just like you.”
I want to be like Jan Karon. I want to write like Francine Rivers. I want to tell stories like Bodie Thoene. I want to be a multi-published author like . . . .
I don’t know about the rest of my writer friends, but I am so often tempted to compare. These kind of statements run through my head:
“If I was more outgoing maybe, I’d get a book published.”
“If I was more savvy on the computer . . .”
“If I could make dazzling publicity sheets and compelling podcasts like . . . .”
“If I tried to write in this other genre, maybe . . .”
“If I was more dramatic in my presentation like . . . “
“Why can’t I just walk up to an editor and make small talk as easily as . . . .?”
And the one that gets me the most: “Why can’t I be sweet and gentle like . . . ?”
But, as Popeye said in the comic strips, “I yam what I yam.” Take me or leave me. This is me. I need to give the world the best original of who I am instead of a poor imitation of someone else.
There’s one part of my friend’s tweet that bothers me. What part of me should I be? Should I really be myself?
The part of myself that uses sarcasm as wit or the part that cries when I get frustrated? The part that is critical and judgmental or loses my temper when life doesn’t go the way I want? The part of me that focuses on me?
I don’t want others to see that side of me and I don’t think God is very happy with that part either. So in some respects, being myself means being my carnal self, giving in to the me that isn’t in synch with Jesus.
If I’m to be like anyone, it’s to be an imitator of God (Ephesians 5:1). Christ is in me, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). It’s not I who live but Christ who lives within me (Galatians 2:20).
I really wish I could be like Jesus. I wish I could display His character better. I want people to see more of Jesus and less of me – especially the bad parts of me! I don’t want anyone to see my warts, faults and flaws.
But you know, as a friend told me once when I was not at my best with her, when people see the real me, it reassures them that I’m human, fallen, and wounded just like everyone else. Those dark threads of my life intertwine with the golden strands of God’s glory to create a knockout picture.
So here I go. Off to be the best of me and at moments, the worst of me. I am me in all my quirky, unique ways that makes me, me.
Even my bad, ill-timed sense of humor.