Last week, I went out to coffee with a few friends.
As we caught up on each other’s lives, I couldn’t help but hear the two ladies right next to us (this particular coffee shop has tables that are SUPER close to each other…we could have practically had a joint conversation all together).
As one lady shared her story about some conflict she was experiencing with her family, her friend said, “You need to be true to yourself.”
I cringed at the bad advice this young lady was giving to her friend. I wanted to interrupt and say, “Yikesies! Don’t listen to your friend…you’ll alienate your entire family, sweets!”
As I left the coffee shop, I got to thinking…isn’t that what’s wrong with society…marriages…families…and so many other things in life? Too many people caring about their own self…their own “truth”…their own fe-fe’s…their own perspective…their own way.
We have an over abundance of people being true to their own self instead of doing the right thing and being true to God and good character.
As I left the coffee shop, I was sad for the lady who will most likely take her friend’s bad advice…and I was extra grateful to have family and friends who give me good, even hard, advice – especially when I don’t ask for it or want it.
All of my family and friends are great…and my closest family members and friends are a rare treasure: when I’m wrong, they have the courage – and integrity – to call me out.
…Like the time I was upset with a family member…and a friend reminded me that family isn’t just an important thing in life – it’s the most important thing in life, second only to God.
…Or the time, a few years ago, when I wasn’t fond of my child’s significant other…and my friend had the courage to tell me that no matter how I was being treated, I would still answer to God for my part and actions.
…Or the time, a few years back, I was about to make a major life-changing decision…and my mom had the conviction and godliness to share with me Bible verses to show me how God would want me to handle the heartbreaking circumstance.
…Or times when I’ve gone through other tough life situations…and family and friends could’ve coddled me or agreed with me, but they cared enough about my character to reveal a blind spot in my life I simply couldn’t see.
…Or how about almost three decades ago when I wasn’t a Christian, and found out I was pregnant, and was scared to death of what the future held.
I seriously shutter to think how these situations would’ve played out if I had gone out for coffee…and a friend had sat across from me and told me to “be true to myself.”
I would’ve missed out on some of the greatest gifts and blessings God ever gave me.
I seriously thank God He gave me the wisdom to not be true to myself…and to do what was wise – and best – instead!
If someone tells you to “be true to yourself,” that person most likely isn’t looking down the road at the consequences you’ll be experiencing if you take that very bad, faulty advice.
When you live a self-saturated life, that’s what you’ll end up with later: a life filled with your own self.
When you live a life that focuses on and considers God, good character, family, and friends, that’s what you’ll end up with: a life filled with God, good character, family, and friends.
How we choose to live our life is what we will eventually get.
The advice of being true to your own self is what destroys relationships. It allows a spouse to have an affair, a family member to indulge in addiction and hurt loved ones, or allows a spouse or family member to walk out on their family relationships. It creates conflict between parents and children…between in-laws…between siblings and the closest of friends.
Ultimately, it’s what went wrong in the Garden of Eden…Eve was true to her own self and failed to care about her relationship with God or the consequences – or what God thought.
Choosing self carries consequences we simply cannot predict…and consequences we’d never want to pay if we pre-knew all of the facts.
What if you’ve already messed up or created consequences for others? It’s never too late to start doing the right thing. God’s grace can cover you and heal every heart.
To clarify: Although being selfish is wrong, self-care is not wrong. Taking time to go workout, relax, or better yourself can indeed improve yourself and your relationships…for sure. Wisely using kind words to take up for yourself if you are wronged or to restore a relationship is sometimes needed. Creating a healthy self and seeking God’s heart to create a solid life is great…but being true to your own self without considering what God thinks or how loved ones feel – or failing to consider your affect on other people, that’s a recipe for future heartache, guilt, and regrets.
We live in a “feel good” – “do what’s best for yourself” – “its all about me” society.
How about we choose to:
…Live better than that.
…Decide to be better than that.
…Be around people who seek a higher purpose than just merely living for self.
…And reject the idea of being true to only oneself.
Instead, lets choose to:
…Be true to God.
…Be true to our family.
…Be true to our spouse and marriage.
…Be a truly great parent.
…Be a good family member and friend.
Let’s all commit to being so true to doing what’s right that nobody has to feel pressured to lie at our funeral about the type of person we were.
We fully have the potential and ability to leave the best legacy possible…and to be true to God by being the person HE calls us to be.
A few verses of encouragement:
Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.“
1 Corinthians 10:24, “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.“
2 Corinthians 5:15, “and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.“
Philippians 2:4, “do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.“
1 Corinthians 13:1-8, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…“
Gratitude & many blessings,
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