Refund the Lies - part 1: I have to strive to be known
I got a tattoo last week. I usually don’t share these things to the mass public, but today is different. I want to share my heart and along with it comes a tattoo. It reads, “be known.”
I got it because it’s the essence of all that’s important to me right now, and hopefully forever. All I want to be concerned with is the fact that I just have to be (exist and be myself) because I am known by God… period.
Yeah, it’s my unique way of reminding myself daily about what’s important: being true to myself and the One I love by not performing or comparing.
If you know me, I grew up wanting to be important. I remember when it hit me that I had an urge on the inside of me that made me want to be desperately known. I was 8 years old, watching television with my father. Britney Spears came on the television doing a performance.
I’m not quite sure why, but in that moment I had an overwhelming urge to be in her shoes. Not because I necessarily liked dancing with snakes around my neck or being the center of attention, but because that one moment -- to me -- symbolized her being important to everyone watching her.
Now that I look back, I realize that my assessment as an 8 year old was without detail and inaccurate. I had no idea what it meant to be a celebrity performer back then. I didn’t know that hundreds of thousands of dollars were the foundation of musical acts like Britney Spears and I didn’t know that if her financial backing were to disappear that her significance in our culture at the time would probably diminish with it.
All I knew is that I wanted to be important and that if Britney Spears was important I had to strive to do what she was doing. It was simple: you want the results that someone else has so you put into effect the actions that brought about those results for them.
Thus began my life of striving to be important.
Fast forward to high school where I found myself striving to prove my worth and find my importance. I would spend extra hours trying to be a phenomenal basketball player so that my coaches would deem me worthy to be in the starting 5. I would sing for countless hours on the weekend so that I could be seen as the best asset to the Spring musical I was in. I would shop for the perfect dress for prom so that I would be known as a one of the fashionable girls. I could go on...
What’s ironic is that while I was striving to prove my worth and be seen as important, I already was. What’s even funnier is that I had great parents that made it their priority to tell me how much worth I had and how significant to the world I was. But, why didn’t I believe it?
Well, I’m sure there’s many reasons, but one of the biggest is that I was comparing my worth to that of other people. If you’ve ever done this, you know quickly that this doesn’t work. It’s like a math problem done wrong: it doesn’t add up!
We can’t ever find our worth or importance by looking at someone else’s worth or importance. If we do that, we find ourselves trying to duplicate what’s already been done by doing things that aren’t authentic. We also totally forsake what God meant to be a unique (unique means “the only one”) expression of Himself on planet earth: us being us.
Yes, it can be hard to accept that I, being the frizzy-haired odd-ball that I am, am a unique expression of God and who He is simply because I choose to be me and do things the way I would choose to do them. But, it’s true and this simple truth is what makes me important.
Therefore, I don’t have to strive or perform to prove my worth or show people my importance. The simple fact that I am the only me on the planet is what gives me worth and makes me important.
I say this because this is true for you also. Because you are the only you on the planet, you are absolutely important to our world. Nobody can think the way you do, articulate life the way you do, and fill your calling. You’re made to add value to the world in your unique way and only you can add value to our world the way YOU do it. A bit tricky to grasp at first, but it’s simple: you’re super important.
So, why do we strive so hard to be known?
We forget that we are unique and that we don’t fit in for a reason. Understandably so. There’s a lot of pressure society tries to place on us via social media and magazines: “you need to be this thin”, “if you’re hair isn’t long, blonde, straight, curly… it isn’t beautiful”, “if you don’t have 1000 followers, you’re a loser”, etc.
These comparison metrics can be very hurtful when we focus on them and let them steal the idea of who we should be. But, what if instead of being hurt by the idea of who we are not, we see the uniqueness of who we are as an opportunity and a blessing.
God wasn’t playing a cruel joke when he created each of us. We are each different for a reason… we are a God-idea. But, if you never experience God’s love for you and the passion behind Him creating you, believing that you’re special can be a difficult stretch of the imagination.
So, what do you need to do if you’re having a hard time believing you’re intrinsically important and full of worth?
The first and last thing you need to do is simply spend time with God. Pray and ask Him to show you His love for you. Get to know Him through the bible, which is His love letter to you, and read what He thinks of you. Ask good, positive friends to chime in and share the heart of God regarding who you are. Sometimes we just need a little help. God uses people to speak too. (Make sure they’re people you trust to be good to you though!)
At the end of the day, I bless you and declare over you that you are known and important. There’s One who created you and knows you. You don’t have to fight, perform or strive for his attention. He’s given it to you freely. You are at the forefront of Jesus’ thoughts every, single second of every, single day.
You are free to take the pressure off of yourself to conform, to perform, to fit in… you are known. You are the standard of a unique expression of what God is doing in the earth. Don’t get in your own way.
Believe in the truth that you're known... always,