Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What We Should Be

A while back, the US Army ran an ad campaign that urged potential soldiers to "Be all You Can Be."
Good advice, I thought.  And not just for soldiers, but for anyone.
But maybe I was wrong.  At least some of the time.

After all, Jesus wasn't.
Christ Jesus, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!--Philippians 2:6-8

When He became a man, Jesus was not all He could be.
He is God.  He reached His potential when He created the world, when He defeated Satan, and will do so again when He comes back to finally reclaim this world.
As a man, Jesus was clearly underachieving.

So, in following Jesus' example, are we ever to do the same?
Why did Jesus do it, anyway?
...the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.--John 14:31

And if that meant to lay aside His Godhead and become a man, so be it.
What does that look like for us?
If I love God and He wants me to teach someone how to fish rather than do the fishing myself, I must.
If I love God and He wants me to lay aside my leadership or capability in favor of a husband or an employer, I must.
If I love God and He wants me to let someone fail rather than bail them out, I must.

God gave us all gifts, but we are to exercise them only as God commands.
I not only have to consider what I can do, but must stop to think whether I should.
Perhaps the right slogan should not read "Be All You Can Be" but "Be What the God You Love Wants You to Be."


  1. This is a really thoughtful post, Joanne. I appreciate your wisdom here and I agree with you. Just because we have the gifts doesn't mean we always use them. We must couple our gifts with discernment.

  2. Thanks for the reminder that this is ok. I am at a place like this right now and instead of getting frustrated because of worrying about what others think, knowing this has allowed me to rest in Him and allow Him to do His work in me.

    1. It's not easy, is it? I keep thinking, "But God, you gave me this or put me here to be USED"...but He sometimes has a different (need I say better?) idea...
      Happy Thanksgiving, Eviejo

  3. Yes. I would have agreed with the Army slogan, too, but you are right. Right now I am in what I would like to call a "phase" where I am not getting to "be all I can be" because of doing what God clearly wanted instead. I have to realize it may not be just a phase. And you are also right that "It's not easy," sometimes. I have a saying, "I wanna be the me that He made me to be!" I'm afraid I may have thought of that too much in terms of reaching for the heights instead of taking the narrow back roads if He wanted. This post will stay in my mind for some time, I am sure. Thanks for the wisdom!

    1. I am so there. And I guess we all are. Where did we learn that God's things are all big things? I don't think he ever said that. I have some suspicions that not only does our sinful nature long for significance, but the modern church encourages us to go out and do big, visible works rather than tending to the little whisper in which God has called us all.
      Thank you so much for your encouraging words. May God bless you in buckets this Thanksgiving.

  4. Hi, Joanne! A few years back, I struggled with doing what God called me to do at the time. And that changes. I felt called to serve in children's church, even though I didn't especially want to do it.(The director even complimented me on how good I was with the children). I am thankful that God didn't keep me there, though, as I am now working in our church's counseling program and love it!! But, the main thing was, I still did what God was telling me to do at the time.
    In His Lo♥e, Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

    1. Yes, that is the main thing, isn't it? We don't always choose where we are to be used. Bless you, Ann. We have much for which to give thanks.

  5. Amen. Thank you for your thoughtful words and wisdom. I needed this today. I, so often, spend my time being doing what I "think" God wants me do rather than being the person that He is growing me into. It is that be versus do thing that gets me all wound around the pole. : )
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda