I only need to be me!

I often get a particular song stuck in my head. Sometimes they can be really annoying like: “A doggy ate a sausage”, or “Sheep, shepherds, baby Jesus”. These silly songs can be harder to dismiss than more meaningful verses such as “O Jesus, I have promised…”

Recently my mind has gone back to a song I knew over twenty years ago, from an album of mainly acoustic numbers by Amy Grant. It begins with the words,

When the weight of all my dreams
is resting heavy on my head,
and the thoughtful words of help and hope
have all been nicely said

If you’re like me, you sometimes fell confused, weary, and even angry that God seems to expects too much of me and doesn’t seem to be helping. In Britain today, our culture drives us to keep up with people around us. Live simply or differently from those around is quite difficult. And as Christians, we often feel that the command to love others means we have please thm.

Paul defends himself several times in his letters because he did not match some people’s expectations of an apostle: for example, in regard to his speaking ability (2 Corinthians 11:4-6), regarding being paid or not (1 Thessalonians 2:9)

Paul talks about the priority being to concentrate on what God has planned for each of us. He calls us to be “living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1), offering ourselves first to God, so that we can resist pressure to conform to other people’s demands. “Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” (Eugene Petersen, see Romans 12:1-2 MSG). Paul then moves on to talk about the spiritual gifts God gives us to do his work. “If [our gift] is teaching let us give all we have to our teaching” (v7 JBP).

There is not enough time in the day to do that people expect of us, so let’s concentrate on doing what God called us to do. As Amy grant sings:

And all I ever have to be
Is what You’ve made me
Any more or less would be a step
Out of Your plan

As You daily recreate me
Help me always keep in mind
That I only have to do
What I can find

And all I ever have to be
Is what You’ve made me

Songwriters
CHAPMAN, GARY WINTHUR

Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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About prophetable

My wife Elizabeth and I were commissioned as Officers (ministers) in The Salvation Army in 1997, and have served in appointments in England and Scotland. Since July 2016 I have been working in The Salvation Army's Scotland Office as combined parliamentary and ecumenical representative.
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