In the past few weeks with all the news about Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner and then the Supreme court decision on same-sex marriage, I’ve heard this one phrase proclaimed more than ever before and each time I would hear it it would bother me tremendously, but it wasn't till recently that I truly could articulate why.
"Just Be Who You Are"
As I heard people talk about their support for these decisions they’d always say something to the effect of, “I’m just so glad they now get to be who they really are.” But here’s the reality: I don’t want to be who I am. Who I am on my own is selfish, self-serving, enslaved to sin, broken, confused, depressed, directionless, purposeless, and hopeless. That might seem harsh, but that’s my reality apart from Jesus. Paul describes who we are without Christ in Ephesians 2:
It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Ephesians 2:1-4 MSG
The idea that “gender reassignment” or a national government affirming a homosexual lifestyle will somehow bring the fulfillment someone’s been longing for is only a mirage that will quickly fade away. What’s really fulfilling is not “being who you are,” but rather “being who Christ says you are.” The lie of the enemy to the world is that embracing how one feels is the key to truly living, when the reality is that true living starts when we deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Jesus (Matt 16:24).
Who Christ Says I Am
I don’t want to be who I am, I want to be who Christ says I am. In Christ I’m alive, free, fearless, holy, peaceful, righteous, generous, loving, an overcomer, and overflowing with hope and purpose. That’s who God’s Word says I am, and I’m most fulfilled when I learn to live in that place.
The irony is this: we are ultimately being “who we really are” when we are most like Jesus Christ. God created us all in His image. Sin ruined that, but God made a way through Jesus Christ to restore us back to who we’re really meant to be. Sons and daughters of God in right relationship with Him experiencing righteousness, joy, and peace that comes from being part of His kingdom.
Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. Ephesians 2:5-6 MSG