That was something my dad would say to me in his frustration with me when I was growing up. I have never forgotten it.
You can imagine how it formed my self-esteem.
We grow up with the image of ourselves formed from our upbringing, our life experiences and our relationships with others.
Who are you?
There are some people I have met who are not the person they project on social media. I have heard of some people who go to great lengths to Photoshop their profile picture. They are obsessed with their online profile and their appearances to their “friends”.
Sometimes we put up an image to others but it’s not really who we are. People are afraid to show who they really are in fear that people won’t like them. We are so tied to what others think about us. It’s a never ending struggle to meet those expectations. One thing you should know about that is that you discover at some point that you will never do enough.
So who do you think you are?
God knows you. He’s not afraid of the real you. The person you are when your friends aren’t around and no one else can see you.
There was a time in my life that I wasn’t the person I am now. I was in a prison to other people’s expectations and their opinions of me. I did what they expected. I worked at the church and filled the role I was expected to fill. I found myself miserable because I wasn’t being the person that God created me to be. I was striving to be what everyone else wanted me to be. It was someone else’s life. Not mine.
Sometimes we’re just too chicken to do anything about it. We continue to put on the face that everyone else sees because we’re so darn afraid of rejection. We want people to think good of us. May I tell you the honest truth? Everyone isn’t going to think good of you no matter what you do. People won’t like you and they will talk about you behind your back. Yep, if they talk about others when you are around you can bet they talk about you when you aren’t around.
How am I doing with your self-esteem now? The truth hurts but the good news is that you can break out of the approval addiction. Remember that whatever someone thinks about you doesn’t mean it’s true. You know the real you and God knows you better than anyone.
So what exactly does God know about us?
Here’s what the Bible says:
“For the Lord sees not as man sees. Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (Proverbs 21:2)
I think admitting that God knows who we really are scares us. We live in denial that He knows us that well. It really should be a comfort that He does and that regardless of the good, the bad and the ugly about us that He still loves us and he wants a relationship with us.
Don’t believe in Him? He still knows you and loves you whether you want Him to or not.
It has taken me years to overcome a fragile self-esteem. I believe I have more sense than God gave a goose now and I have people in my life that care about me. Sometimes the only way you can achieve that is to make the choice that you are going to be who you are even if it disappoints people. I will tell you that if you make that commitment and trust in the Lord that you will become the person He meant for you to be.
I will also tell you that life sucks sometimes and people are mean whether you believe in God or not. Believing in God doesn’t make it any easier. It won’t be a daily life of a choir singing throughout your day. Some things only God knows about you. In fact, He has knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7). If He knows that much detail about you then He knows you and I pretty well.
I love the new song “God Only Knows” from King & Country and the part that says:
God only knows what you’ve been through God only knows what they say about you God only knows how it’s killing you But there’s a kind of love that God only knows God only knows what you’ve been through God only knows what they say about you God only knows the real you There’s a kind of love that God only knows
It’s funny how people will tell you to “be yourself” until you actually do it. We are expected to make allowances for other people to be themselves and have their own opinions but when we try to do it, people get upset about it. Well, you can be yourself with God. He knows you already. You aren’t doing anything that surprises Him.
Who do you think you are? There’s only one you and you’re pretty special.