Many people struggle with just being themselves. They constantly compare their lives and actions and the ways they think and do things, to those they look up to.
The uniqueness of each person begins with their DNA and their fingerprint. As they forge their lives amidst social and cultural pressures they slowly discover WHO THEY ARE.
As believers, we are encouraged to "put off and put on" the attributes of Jesus and above all, put on LOVE! I love the way Paul writes to the church at Colossians in chapter 2 and 3.
If you can get your head around this and read it as an instructional PDF I believe it's the perfect summary of who we are, because of what HE HAS DONE FOR US and what we are to do as believers as a result.
This would be the ultimate homework assignment for anyone to take away on a 3-month break. This would greatly enhance your studies if you were doing a theology degree.
You can't do this on your own and nor should you try doing this in the flesh. I deliberately used the word forge earlier in this text because these wonderful Godly attributes and standards are a result of our relationship with God.
We are washed by the Water of the Word, cleansed by his Blood and empowered and anointed by the Holy Spirit and over time Christ is formed within us.
Love covers us as we serve our fellows in love and we show the world what we believe by how we live.
I heard an amazing story years ago about a very successful missionary. When back home on sabbatical he was asked to be the guest speaker at the important conference organized by the church organization he represented.
He was their guest speaker and was given 3 keynote times to speak but informed the organizers he only needed 10 minutes at the most.
People waited to hear his evangelism secrets which he delivered in one sentence! This unassuming humble man said this: "I go into a village and ask God where He's working and then I join Him in HIS work"! He then walked off the stage and sat down.
Here's the sequel to this true story. The church organization sent some other missionaries to join him to learn from him. When these missionaries asked the villagers about how they became Christians, they said: It was easy because it was like God was working among us and the life he showed us was easy to follow so that is what we did!
Referring back to the PDF, let's name this headline, Evangelism 101. We could then bullet point each scripture we and the important verses we could highlight or italicize in glowing iridescent color.
At the bottom, we could have this addendum.
# - Did you read each scripture as loving instructions from a parent would write to you as their child?
# - Did you let the words on the page READ YOU? Were you convicted or condemned by the words? Conviction draws us closer to God for help, guilt causes us to hide as Adam did.
# - As a mirror to those around you, what do they see? How are you living?
No offense is intended here and I hope you are not offended because this is the view through my different lens using these analogies.
In short, let God love you into the fullness of His Son. Even if you don't love yourself, you will come to that during your transition.