“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Do you ever sense that some people try to put you in a box, because they expect you to just say or do certain things?
For example, maybe you’re a pastor and because of this, then you may well share stories of people who are hurting or lost, and because you are a shepherd, then this is the type of thing that those in your circle have come to expect of you.
But you are also an avid old car enthusiast and you love to work on them and take pictures of what you’ve done.
Perhaps you are called as a prophet or an apostle, and over time people have come to expect you to just share or post words from the LORD.
You’ve trained others and have helped them in their walk with the LORD over the years.
Occasionally you will share various teachings or dreams and visions from the LORD and this is the continued theme of your life.
Maybe you are also a musician or an artist, but this somehow isn’t what others have expected of you.
Surely, this isn’t the person that I thought he or she was… But over time and occasionally, you share your thoughts on other matters that are of importance to you in your life.
These things may vary from a previous job you once had, a relationship, family members, or a whole host of other matters.
Whatever your field of interest and experience is, that is typically what you as a person will draw from.
Your perception of the world around you will come out in what you share with others and this in turn is what people will come to expect of you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a plumber, a teacher, a house wife, or an attorney, people have come to consider us in a certain way and that is how their perception of us is formed.
And then from time-to-time, those friends that you once had now are leaving you because what they expected to see has now changed.
Somehow they had pigeon-holed you into a certain category and now because you don’t fit what they thought you were, they don’t want to have anything to do with you.
I see this type of thing regularly and perhaps some of you have as well.
Let’s face it, the social networking interface of Facebook allows many friendships to develop and while some of them become genuine, a myriad of others may well are shallow and don’t have any depth to them.
Don’t get me wrong; I understand these things very well, and actually I’m not really bothered by them, because I see the shallowness of many around me.
And of course it is true that when these things happen, that person wasn’t really a friend in the first place.
But while it’s not a flesh and blood type of relationship that we share with others in this platform, deep and lasting friendships do endure over time.
And even in a deeper sense, the body of Christ is formed together even as living stones interact with each other through this mechanism of the internet.
From time to time, I occasionally interact or respond to stories concerning the ever-continuing saga of our political dilemma, but more often than not, I know ahead of time that any response will end up in fiery disputes and the loss of yet another supposed “friend.”
Tempers flare, opinions are stated, but more often-than-not does it end well. And yet of course, we all have a right to what we think and each of our voices can be heard if we learn to listen to each other.
It really gets down to being able to be real with each other, but that can usually only happen with those who accept us unconditionally without unreasonable expectations.
The bottom line is that we don’t need others to form our perception of ourselves.
We are who we are because we are a child of God, and each of us is unique in how we have been formed.
There’s a lot of freedom in being who you are apart from what others may think you are. It’s time to get out of the box of trying to please others, or to fit in.
Let go of the past, ask forgiveness for those who have either hurt you or misunderstood you.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?