When people see you coming, what have you trained them to expect that they’re going to get? What have they come to assume will come out of you?
Talk about your job?
Your favorite sport?
Your kids’ sport?
Your take on current events?
How bad things are (even when they aren’t).
How great things are (even when they aren’t).
Maybe a one-sided conversation?
Silence and occasional grunts?
There is only one way people are taught what to expect from us. . . . We teach them. We train people by consistently being that . . . guy.
It’s easy to get trapped being one of these personas. It’s also easy to get trapped being a different guy in every room we go into. What starts as an attempt at acceptance ends up being a mindless pattern that we can’t seem to shake.
If we truly follow Jesus and let Him lead, over time and looking to Him, we become the man He made us to be. The living proof of that was Peter. Pre-Jesus, everyone knew what they were going to get when he walked in—gruff, impulsive, loud fisherman. But after a few years with Jesus—a strong, loving, confident leader of people.
So, not sure you like the guy that you’re all too familiar with, that looks an awful lot like you? Have you trained people to expect something you aren’t comfortable with? Good news—the Creator is also the Transformer. The Redeemer. The Constant One. And His specialty is changing men.
Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? —Matthew 16:24-26 MSG
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