Ideas / Theology / August 30, 2011

"You" Is A Very Fluid Concept

In the movie Hitch there is a scene where Will Smith’s character is making suggestions to another character of how he should dress for a date. The other character says “I’m just not sure these shoes are me.” Smith looks at him and says “Right now, you is a very fluid concept.” The same should be true for each of us. To stick ourselves in the static status of “me” is to limit ourselves to our detriment.
“That’s just who I am.” We’ve all heard people say it and very likely said it ourselves. It’s that ubiquitous explanation (read: excuse) for some action or attitude that doesn’t sit well with someone else. Sometimes it’s taste in clothes, like the shoes from the scene in Hitch. It could be the way we talk (loud, fast, with an accent, etc.) More often, though, it’s something opinionated, hurtful, selfish. And we hide behind “That’s just who I am.”
“That’s just who I am.” “That’s not me.” That’s just arrogant. It smacks of faithless fatalism. Phrases like these assume a certain achievement and superiority in the status of “me” and “I am”. Only God can rightfully be described as “I AM”. The rest of us are becoming.
We ought never to be satisfied or limited with who we are. It should never remain the same for long. Yes, God did give us tendencies and personalities through our genetic code and our familial and cultural upbringing. But God also gives us grace to either grow those in positive directions or overcome them. “Who I am” is much less relevant and meaningful than who I am becoming.
If you are a person who hides behind the mantle of “me” you are choosing conflict, disappointment, and frustration. You are risking alienation from those around you as you plant your flag in one place and they move on. You will be a stationary obstacle in their way as they travel on the path to who they are becoming.
Let “you” be a fluid concept in the hands of God. Have the humility to recognize needed changes and to appreciate outside input. Yes, God gave you tendencies and a personality. But God is I AM. You are becoming.    



13 Comments

Aug 30, 2011

I heard someone say “Just being yourself is a great idea as long as you’re talking to perfect people.”


Aug 30, 2011

I get a bit of a kick out of the advice “just be yourself”. I always wonder “who else would I be?” and “really, you sure that’s a good idea?”


Aug 30, 2011

Intersting idea–I’m reminded and rebuked. Thank you for this!


Aug 30, 2011

Good stuff, Barnabas


Aug 30, 2011

Well said!


Aug 30, 2011

That third paragraph nailed it for me. I have been struggling with some loved ones who exibit this “take me as I am” sin-drome lately and it has been hard to take. It was helpful to hear the truth set forth in such an appealing manner. I was able to find myself in here too along with all the grace I need to get me where God wants me to be in His loving-your-neighbor agenda.


Aug 30, 2011

Wow!


Aug 30, 2011

I’ve been leading a small group through Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free (Nancy L. DeMoss). This phrase has come up in the last two chapters. I appreciate EVERY paragraph here. I don’t want to be an obstacle in the path of others! …growing or overcoming all everything in my genetic code by God’s grace!


Aug 30, 2011

Great post! So glad to know that my weekly existential crises are an indicator of growth, not insanity. I love Hitch, by the way. We should have a movie night and all watch it sometime soon. Q-Tip…Throw it away.


Aug 31, 2011

Wonderful thought! I translated it yesterday and am posting today on our website http://www.naodesperdicesuavida.com (it means “don’t waste your life” in portuguese), if you don’t mind. If you do mind, please let me know so that I can delete it. 🙂


Aug 31, 2011

It’s a valid response if what you are being accused of as sin is just a difference in personal style.


Sep 01, 2011

like! Thanks for the insight!


Sep 01, 2011

Alan:Cristie, I am glad you wanted to translate it. Thanks!

Terriergal – I would say it may be “valid” in that case, but it’s not likely to be the most helpful. It still pits you against the other person because it uses “you” as the standard for behavior. An explanation of *why* you aren’t sinning would likely be better I would think.



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