“That’s just the way I am.” We’ve all probably said something like this when we feel pressured by others to change. They seem to be looking down on us, even judging us. In our hearts we wonder, “What’s wrong with the way I am? I know I’m not perfect, but . . . I’m not that bad either.”
To be accepted as we are is a yearning all of us have. Yet we also desire that the other person bring out the best in us, challenging us to be all we were meant to be. This tension seems to snap into a defensiveness spirit when we are being care-fronted about a behavior that we have found so hard to change. We’ve begun to imagine it can’t be changed. It seems like it is “just who I am.”
The various personality profiles really don’t help. We now have tests that “prove” what pigeon-hole we belong in. And if others don’t like it, “Well, that’s just tough.” I’m not denying that we all have bents. We have preferred ways of looking at things and doing stuff. But the Lord has challenged me lately to not allow these “comfort zones” of my personality become an excuse.
As we recently studied about “Our Good, Good Father,” we learned that all of us, even the best among us, is only “sorta-good.” We never get it just right. Only God is “beautiful” (the sum of all perfections). We are to reflect Him, becoming molded to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). Our aim should be to be like Him. That means any of our personality bents, impacted by sin, can make us less than “beautiful.” My guess is that better reflecting Jesus will take me way past my personality’s comfort zones.
Maybe it is a sign that we’ve maturing when we stop saying, “That’s just who I am, so you should accept me as I am.” Replacing that common defense mechanism with a wiser response, like, “I’m sorry, this is who I am right now. I do want to better reflect Jesus, so I’m going to pray through what you’ve care-fronted me about. Thank you for being patient with me as I seek to become who God wants me to be.”
Yearning with you to be ever more mature,