Have you heard a coach, a parent, a motivational speaker say this? What does this mean? Seriously. What are you trying to say? Be yourself? Be who you are?
What if you don’t know who you are?
What if you don’t like who you are?
What if what you are doing isn’t really the best ‘you’?
What if….what if you aren’t being who God created you to be?
Are we pursuing goals, personal goals, of worldly success? Awards? Material wealth? Popularity? How about this – are you, are we, pursuing more ‘likes’ or followers on social media? Is this what ‘do you’ means?
Or, maybe we are pursuing dreams. This might not be a bad thing. I think going after what you dream of can be a good thing. For example, I remember from late elementary dreaming of winning a basketball championship in high school and then, playing in college. So, I pursued it. I practiced all the time on my own. I went to camps. I watched as much high school and college basketball as possible and followed the best players; emulating them. I worked hard!! I was devastated, I mean DEVASTATED, when I suffered a career ending injury my senior year. Now what? How could I ‘do me’ when I couldn’t do what I dreamt of? Did I try and overcome this injury? DUH! Of course I did. I had one surgery in the fall, early on in the season. I tried to come back, and my knee wouldn’t allow me. I had another surgery in the spring. Still, my body would not allow me. What does ‘do you’ mean now?
You see, my identity was caught up in what I did. My image was based on basketball. My vocation, in my head and heart, was to play basketball. And, now I couldn’t.
My dreams were over. Eventually, I had to ask myself, what was God’s dream for me? Now what is my purpose?
I have a friend that has phrase he uses all the time: pain to purpose (Bobby Bugattii Jones). God had impressed upon me in my twenties to use my pain as my purpose. My purpose being – to make a difference in the lives of young people like myself. What did that look like? My vocation was teaching and coaching. However, my identity was based on Christ and my image was bearing the image of Christ to others. As years went on, my vocation changed. But my purpose, my image and my identity didn’t. They remain the same.
Instead of inspiring people to ‘do you’, why don’t we help them find the ‘you’ God wants them to be? Perhaps we can walk beside them, teaching them and showing them how to pursue their God-given purpose? When we don’t know whose we are, we will pursue what the world or even our own misguided minds and hearts will tell us.
Vocations and dreams change. Who we are in Christ, becoming the best version of who God wants us to be never changes.
Don’t do you, especially if you don’t even know who you are and who God is making you into.
Jeremiah 29:11-14a 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord.
God has great plans for us. As we pursue him wholeheartedly, He will make His plans known each step of the way.