Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cheap Imitations

Join me today for a little




I have never been a "name brand" kind of shopper.  Even as a kid, I remember not wanting to wear name brand clothing.  It seemed ridiculous to me that stores would charge such outrageous prices just because their name was stitched into the fabric or printed on a label.

As an adult, I more often than not opt for a generic brand rather than the name brand products.  Feeding four kids, three of which are boys, is not an inexpensive thing, so I have to cut costs where I can.

But sometimes, the generic brand just won't do.

Sometimes the imitation product is simply that: a cheap imitation. It promises to be just as good as the more expensive version, but in reality it just falls short.  It claims to be something that it simply is not.

Take artificial sweetener, for instance... it claims to taste just like sugar, only we know that it doesn't really.  It leaves a bitter aftertaste that lingers like a bad cold.

Yuck.

I'm wondering how many times the "me" I present to people is really just a poor imitation of the "me" I want to be, or the one that I really am.   It's scary to let people see the "real me."  What if they don't like her?  What if she's a disappointment?  What if they like someone else better?  It's just easier to imitate someone else, someone I admire...no, someone I know that others admire... than to find out the answers to these questions.

The problem is that I'm NOT someone else.  And no matter how hard I try to be like them, I will never BE them!

I will never look like them, write like them, think like them.  And when I try to copy them, I will come off as a cheap imitation, leaving a bitter aftertaste of insincerity.

Blech.

Girls, we are called to imitate one person and one only, and that is the Son of God.  Ephesians 5:1-2 says, "Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God."

Not to say we aren't to learn from others; Paul instructed his readers several times to imitate himself and other believers, but he was telling them to imitate their faith, not their personalities.  

The challenge, then, is to figure out who we are and who God wants us to be, and then be her!  With confidence!  I cling to Ephesians 2:10 that says "We are God's masterpiece," and that "He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago."  

Me.  I am God's masterpiece, part of His greatest work which is the church, and He has a plan for me to be part of some pretty wonderful things that He's had in the works for two thousand years.  Not me, the copy of someone else He created; ME, the way He created ME to be.

Psalm 139:13 reminds me that God used great care to make me who I am before He even introduced me to the world.  "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb."  Which means He made me exactly the way He intended to.  

Why would I want to cast that aside to be a cheap imitation of someone else?

Most likely I've bought into the lie that I'm not good enough or pleasing enough the way I am, at least by the world's standards.  Which is another article for another day.

For now I just want to stop trying to be something I'm not.  I just want to be me, Angie: Unashamedly imperfect, hopelessly sentimental, and head-over-heels in love with Jesus.

Who are you, my friend?  Will you take off your costume and stop pretending to be anyone other than yourself?  Because YOU are wonderful and beautiful and beloved.  There is no imitation that could ever compare to the masterpiece that God made YOU to be. 


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