To reach our full potential we have to be true to ourselves. No one can live feeling like a phoney and expect a positive outcome.
If we are trying to follow the leading of God’s Spirit, we simply need to follow what we think is his leading and check we have peace in our heart.
I love what the Apostles said when they sent some helpers to Paul and Barnabas:
‘It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us …’ (Acts 15:28)
There’s a lightness about that. They are saying we think this is what God is showing us. ‘It seemed good…’ is better than the more common ‘The Lord told me…’ that many Christians prefix their actions with. The latter makes it difficult to question without it looking like we are contradicting God. Whereas the ‘It seemed good…’ keeps the conversation open.
Sometimes being true to yourself may mean a change of season or a disconnecting from one story and connecting to another story.
Abram had to disconnect from his Father’s house and his country in order to walk in the new story God called him to. (Genesis 12:1) We are not told so but I would imagine he got a whole guilt trip from his family about how he was dishonouring them and should pull his socks up and stay.
But his ‘No’ to his family brought him into the ‘Yes’ of his new adventure. Sometimes we have to let go of the present to take hold of the future.
Family and friends are powerful forces that sometimes make us say ‘Yes’ when really we should say ‘No’.
When we feel alone and are being accused of losing the plot, it is hard to step into our future sometimes.
There was a moment when the family of Jesus thought he’d lost the plot and they even went to take charge of him.
‘When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind.’’ (Mark 3:21)
But Jesus’ response to this is interesting. He doesn’t argue with them. He simply redefines who his family are! Those who are on the same journey become his new family.
‘Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.’
‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ he asked.
Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.’’ (Mark 3:31-35)
This is not a licence to be arrogant but a way of following our heart and being true to ourselves. If we keep a clear conscience and a quiet heart, we can follow God’s leading and reach our full potential. We have to be true to ourselves. Imitating what others are doing will only ever lead to us being a shallow parody of what we could be.
Let the peace of God rule, or guard, our heart. And let us follow what the peace of God within us is indicating is the way to go. Even when we may have to disconnect from one season in order to walk in the next season of our lives.
‘The peace of God… will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4:7)