Be Who You Are

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it. –Psalm 139:14 (NLT)

I am NOT a morning person! There. I said it, confessed it, admitted it, and shouted it.

I used to feel extremely guilty that I was not a morning person.

For many years I was convinced that good Christians “rise and shine and give God the glory, glory.” I tried to be that person, but I never got there. I don’t wake up with a smile and say, “Good morning, God!” as I whistle and skip down the hallway heading towards my quiet time. I’m the guy who drags himself out of bed mumbling, as I smack the snooze button and throw the alarm at the cat.

It has been constant stories from early risers that have triggered my feelings of inferiority. For years, I was envious of those who could live on little sleep and wake up early with one hand on a Greek New Testament and the other grasping a pen to journal and pray. I thought good Christians wake up early and survive on little sleep because they are so Spirit-filled. On the other end of the spectrum, are the backsliding, carnal Christians, who like me, need a full eight hours of sleep in order to function.

These days, I’m not sleeping in until 9:00 a.m., but I’m not popping up at zero-dark-thirty either. I’ll force myself to get up at 6:45 a.m. tomorrow to meet a buddy for exercise at 7:00 a.m., but I won’t really come alive and be good with people until about 9:00 a.m. I’ve learned my rhythm. I start slow. I exercise. I read. I have to warm up my body and my soul. I have learned to stop envying those who are “early-to-bed/early-to-rise” or “late-to-bed/early-to-rise” and have become comfortable with my own wiring.

I wish someone had told me earlier in life that it was okay to be myself, the person who God has made me. Sure, everyone has areas in life where shifts in behavior can be made, where course changes are within our power, and bring positive results. But when it comes to how God has wired you in basic ways: introvert/extravert, short/tall, small/large, bubbly/reserved, funny/serious, morning person/night person, little sleep/lots of sleep, it just doesn’t work to invest years of time and energy trying to become someone who God did not create you to be, nor intend for you to become.

I wish someone had given me the permission to be more like…well, me. Today, I’m happy to grant you this permission. Consider it done. Yet, in the end, my permission isn’t very significant. The most important permission must come from you.

1. In what ways has God made you wonderfully complex?

2. How have you struggled to accept the ways that God has wired you?

Psalm 139; 1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 2:10

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Doug Fields

Doug Fields is the senior director of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of leaders, teenagers and parents each year. He’s also the author/co-author of 50+ books including: Parenting in a Screen Saturated Culture; Intentional Parenting; 7 Ways to be Her Hero – the One Your Wife Has Been Waiting For; and To Have and To Hold. In addition to Doug’s speaking and writing, he is also the co-founder of and the youth pastor at Mariners Church. Doug has been married for more than 35 years to his wonderful wife Cathy, and they live near their 3 married children and 3 grandchildren in Southern California.

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