Often our worries are centered on what we perceive other people think about us and what they might say about us. However, if we try too hard to meet their expectations and gain their approval, we may lose sight of who we actually are.
A man sitting in his pastor’s study is discussing a major concern he has about himself. He says something like this.
“My business profession requires a great deal of attention to how others perceive me, so I have become a master of knowing how to say the right things and meet the expectations of my customers, my colleagues and my friends. My behavior is so determined by my desire to please others that I sometimes find myself wondering who I truly am, being the tactful, diplomatic people-pleaser I have become.”
Thinking about this, I remember the question raised by my fellow minister, the Rev. Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church in Chicago, who wrote a book titled Who You Are (When No One’s Looking).
It seems to me that this is an important question for all of us to ask ourselves.
One of the psalmists, obviously seeking God’s help in answering such a question, prayed “Search me , God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV ).
The search for our true identity may begin with our remembrance of the reality that we are known intimately by God who created us and who is willing to enter into our lives through our faith to lead us to honest self-understanding and authentic living.
I pray this blessing for you, my reader, and for myself!
The Rev. Dr. G. Daniel McCall is minister-emeritus at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church.