Looking for fulfillment, worth, and personal value by “being something” is a method by which one can guarantee a life of personal failure.
We try to “fit in” and try to “be” by projecting ourselves in the image of what we want to be. In reality, we become a walking lying vanity. Aristotle said, “If you want to be something you must begin by doing what you want to be.” (paraphrased) This may work to a degree in physical endeavors in the world; for instance, one can become a house painter by learning by doing, and through experience over time develop the skills of painting houses. He has through personal efforts become a house painter by painting houses. On the other hand, thousands of people have taken up the brush with the desire of becoming an artist, only to discover they didn’t have the talent within themselves to be an artist. Even training in the techniques of painting cannot give you talent… it only enhances what talent is there. There are people who can multiply 10-digit numbers by 10-digit numbers in their heads faster than you can enter it into a calculator. The number of such people is very few, and we recognize this as a mental attribute or talent that is unique…unusual. You can aspire to such talent, but you either have the ability or you do not.
Seeing the talents in others can inspire us to endeavor to develop in that direction; however, it also can lead us astray from who we are and what we possess. We all have the need to discover who and what we are. We need not make a comparison with others to do so. There is a difference between a pebble, a rock, and a mountain. They may have the same attributes to a greater or lesser degree, but they all have a place and a purpose. If we look at the mountain and compare it to a round stone, the stone appears insignificant in contrast. Yet, the round stone in the hands of David was the perfect weapon to bring down a giant!
We must not try to be what we want to be. We must learn who we are and become what we were created to be. The very fact that “God is not a respecter of persons” should indicate that in His value system there is no difference of greatness between one person and another.
We look upon things, purposes, or functions of an object or person with different attitudes. For instance, a clay bowl made by an artist is treasured. The clay culvert made to transport sewage out of the city will not find a place of honor on one’s mantle. One is created to express an idea, the other was created to fulfill a function, to eliminate waste to ensure the health of the community. Which is more important? It is important in relation to one’s perspective… one’s desire… or need.
Who you are is more important to you than the attributes of someone else that you may treasure.
There are philosophers who have surmised that we are the composite of all that we have experienced in our lives… That is to say, what we see, hear, and experience influences us to such an extent that it determines what we become and are.
I disagree. We are more than a rock experiencing the world around us. We are not created as a rock to wear down to gravel, then sand, and eventually be dust in the wind. We are spirit… not subject to the physical wear and tear of the earth. As Paul said, “Though the outward man (our flesh) perishes, the inner man is being renewed day by day.” We were not created to be molded by circumstances in our lives, we were created to have dominion over the earth and to make it fruitful and to multiply. This bears witness that our influence and our perspectives do not come from the world but from a source apart from the world. Our inspiration comes from the creator of all things, from God himself. Rather than being influenced BY the world, we are the influencers OF the world.
Adam lost this ability when he separated himself from his spirit influence, God. Satan took advantage of this separation by becoming man’s spiritual mentor and has created the world’s system in which we find ourselves today.
This world system was created to influence man’s way of thinking down to the individual. Because man has lost his identity, Satan gives us a false one… the lie masked in conformity to the world. It is much easier to flow with “the system” than to stand against it. In our own power, we are quickly made to conform, or are eliminated by the system. What it can not control, it will try to destroy.
On a personal level, the answer to who we are will come from our spirit. It is only through the spirit of man, in communion the Spirit with God our maker, that our true identity can be found and expressed.
Our minds will determine which course to follow. It can be influenced by the world or by the Spirit. It cannot have two masters… it will be led by one, or the other. Trying to be, by being something that has influenced us, will cause us to reject what our own spirit desires to reveal.
Written By David L Stephens (my deceased husband) September 23, 2006 12:30 am
Blogged by Elizabeth Norland, June 2013