28 September 2014

Let True-Self Rise to the Top

Like most folks I guess, I’m on this journey called life trying to figure out just who I am and what life is truly about. But it’s not easy. The world is a noisy place. The chatter is relentless. One’s individuality can easily get lost in a thousand conversations.

We now live in a world where every reporter is a commentator. Every news anchor has an opinion. And every radio talk show host has the answers to all the world’s problems. And every group has an agenda. Nothing wrong with that, hello free speech. But with 24/7 news and talk radio at it’s peak, it’s no stretch for dialog to remain constant. Which pleads the question; are we leaving room for our own thoughts?

If all we do is ponder other people’s opinions, I wonder if our own outlook has room to surface. Radio talk show hosts have one agenda; to use the airwaves to voice their ideology. That’s fine, but let’s be clear; they don’t go on the air to bring the opinion of others to light, only their own. We may agree with some of the things said, but I wonder what we’re giving up? Our own ideas? Our own convictions? Our own unique self even?

For this reason, I rarely listen to talk radio. My exposure to TV news is measured. My days of basking long in the strong opinion of others is over. Why? Because I only care about my own opinion? No, because we all are unique beings and our thoughts, outlook and voice are also unique. And we need to give ourselves room to be, well, ourselves. I don’t want to lose track of the authentic self, and there is a real threat of this in a society that never shuts up.

A friend is enamored with his favorite radio personality. When we get together, his primary thoughts are filtered through what “so and so” thinks. I bet you know someone like this. I’ve known him for over a decade, and I can no longer tell the difference between his own thoughts and that of Mr. radio personality. The lines are now blurred. And I’ve never seen him more disillusioned. He seems to have lost his center. His core purpose. I’m not exaggerating. His uniqueness wanes as he blends in. I wonder if he’s even living anymore.

If we’re going to be our best in this life. If we’re going to discover our authentic self, we’re going to have to learn to shut the radio off. Walk away from the TV. Keep the news from dominating our lives. And maybe postpone our next trip to Red Box. Besides, as the great writer and preacher Max Lucado once said in a speech concerning television news; “it’s all bad news anyway”. He has a point.

The amazing Word of God warns us that;

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7 NKJV

The thing we spend our time thinking on the most shapes who we are. We mustn’t underestimate the power of any form of meditation. And if we constantly clothe ourselves with political dialog and the fear based problems of the world, both heart and spirit will reflect the quality of our focus.

I’m not suggesting we put our heads in the sand. We’re a part of this world and its problems, we need to be a part of the solution somehow. And that involves knowing what’s going on. But there’s a balance here.

Something tells me our greatest contribution to this world, whatever that might be, begins with being ourselves, our true selves. And if that authentic self is mixed up with the identity of others, we may never discover just what our contribution will be. What we’re capable of.

As I began to limit my exposure to the thoughts of others, an amazing thing began to happen. Suddenly there was room for my own thoughts. My mind could breathe again. My dreams rose to the surface. My true convictions came into clear view. I discovered that I couldn’t care less about much of the dribble being slung around the airways, and I was more free to think about the things I genuinely care about. This lifted my spirits, elevated me out of depression and stirred up a passion that had long been oppressed, all at the expense of the agenda of others who happened to have a louder voice. A bigger microphone.

For those of us who are believers in Christ Jesus, his is the voice we tune into primarily. A voice of hope. Good news. Real answers.

“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3 NKJV

Jesus literally holds the key to who we are and our uniqueness given by God. And the world would love to smother that in us, to confuse our identity and calling. But only if we give the enemy permission by swimming in the cesspool of endless and hopeless chatter.

“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Mathew 10:39 NKJV

Learn to do this and your true self will rise to the top, and you’ll make a difference by simply being yourself.