Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote Treasure Island among other literary works, once made the statement, “I have been to church today and I’m not depressed.” Unfortunately, this famous quote provides a rather sad insight into how the brilliant author viewed the majority of corporate worship services. In a similar vein, the great Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers.” Sadly, he was not alone in his assessment of Christians. Although we have every reason to live abundantly and vibrantly, too many of us spend too much of our lives trying to conform to someone else’s mold. Rather than embracing the quirky, salty, and unique individuals we are, we find our identity in pleasing people and in positioning ourselves to look like we think they want us to. There is no need for this, however, because we’re branches connected to the True Vine, and no two are exactly alike. We’re each made to be one-of-a-kind, and the sooner we own that fact, the more blessed and peaceful we’ll be. Our Heavenly Father has given all of us an inimitable purpose, and we can only fulfill it when we learn to cherish, accept, and love ourselves like He does.
My friend, Jesus has set you free to be yourself! You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and you don’t have to hide behind anyone else’s expectations. By the power of the Gospel, you are welcomed and embraced just as you are, and if you never do another thing, that fact won’t change. Starting today, you can stop working hard to meet the approval of those you barely know and start enjoying the life you live. You were divinely-designed by the Creator of all, and He is crazy about YOU — the one He loved perfectly before the world began.