Embracing Who You Are

I know, I know. It seems like a title of a Joel Osteen book or something. Please don’t disregard because of the post title.

Growing up I was never much of an emotional person. What I mean by that is I was never much of one to show my emotions, especially if they were sad or hurt feelings. I’m not sure that many people have seen me cry since I was a child. I confess this to you because within the past couple of years, especially since becoming a father, all of this has changed. In all that is good and true, sometimes I look at my son while he is sleeping on daddy and almost burst into tears over him. Maybe that’s what fatherhood does to you?

Either way, this changing has carried over into my life and my ministry. I will also confess that I am a millennial through and through, to an extent. I am becoming more and more aware of this as I grow and mature. What I mean is that I am suddenly realizing that I want to be as genuine as possible with everything I do. Recently, I conversed with my wife about how lazy I had been lately with everything I was doing (yes, I cried). I told her how I had gotten nothing done and made a lot of “what if” scenarios to her. And to be honest, she disagreed with me and told me I was wrong. How dare her, right? No. She was right. She explained it was because we’ve hardly had time to slow down and take time for ourselves. What I thought was laziness was really fatigue.

As I have started embracing my millennialism(?), I have started to evaluate things like my work ethic, my genuine-ness, the way I treat people, the way I express my values and beliefs on social media, and even the way I take time for myself.

But more than anything else, some of my convictions have changed throughout this epiphany. I have started to realize who I am becoming. I have started to form a person who I want to become. I am not so sure when all of this started, but it is happening.

Recently, my wife and I were talking about something that happened regarding the way the hymns were played during worship through singing. Five or ten years ago, I probably would have agreed with the argument to play them like the hymns are written. Now, I am realizing there are much larger issues than which arrangement of music we play our songs for corporate worship. We’ve also had people complain to us about a single bug being in a classroom. We’ve been approached about not shaking enough people’s hands on Sundays (no, I’m not lying).

As a result of this, I have changed my convictions thoroughly. Even on issues that may be slightly larger and consist outside of the church.

In our metropolis of Pocahontas (pop. 6,608), we recently had a group of people petition to make our county a wet county as opposed to dry. Meaning that the sale of alcoholic beverages would be brought to our county and our town. No, I was not for this and never will be and I did not sign the petition. I am not trying to say we shouldn’t hold to our convictions, but let me pose this question:

Are we so concerned with what people are doing wrong that we forget to share the good news of Christ with them?

For so many years, it seems as though the church has stood for many issues we are against. We stand against alcohol sales and consumption, but yet we hardly support local and international missions. We stand for adoption instead of abortion but do hardly support places of adoption or adopt a child ourselves. We will not support the lottery but rarely tithe or manage our money with good stewardship.

Maybe I am being too critical and maybe a little too left-winged. But I am becoming a person who wants to be known as a person who loves Jesus and isn’t afraid to tell anyone about Him. I hope you are too.

If you are changing, embrace it. God has not made you a robot so He can control who you become. But if you submit to His Lordship over your life, He will conform you to His Son’s image (Romans 8:29).

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