It started as a cozy little saying for kindergartners. “Just be yourself.” Or “No one can do you better than you.” Now it is the single most significant agenda of a political party and government. Forget about policies for defense, poverty, or the working man. Some people seem to think the number one goal of our government is financially supporting someone to be whatever they want to be!
It’s not logical. It’s not biological. It’s not ontological. It’s absolutely insane. But that’s where we are. You not only can do anything you want with your genitalia, you can demand the silence and financial ruin of anyone who even questions your logic. You literally can believe you are a piece of non-binary sliced cheese and expect the U.S. government to pay for whatever surgery is needed to paint you yellow and flatten your stomach. Oh, and if you even hint at disagreeing with someone who thinks they are a piece of sliced cheese, then California will ban travel to your house.
Again, this is the primary goal of many who run for office. It’s all they talk about. It’s more important than poverty, sex trafficking, or helloing victims of crime. More attention and help is actually going to the perpetrators of crime, but that’s a whole other story.
All of this ultimately comes down to the unempirical religion called “Be Yourself.” In our state-run schools they catechize humans from preschool. “Just be yourself” replaces the Pledge of Allegiance, the Apostle’s Creed, and 3 Laws of Thermodynamics.
Unfortunately, the Church might be somewhat to blame. Somehow “Be Yourself” has replaced the Gospel. Unconditional love apparently means God doesn’t care what you do. Even in some Gospel-centered churches there seems to be a tone of nervousness when a preacher encourages people to be better. “Don’t get legalistic, man! I suck. Just let me stink! If I try to be better, then I’ll make being better my god, and forget I’m saved by grace.”
Well that’s why you have a pastor. To tell you that being being better is not the route to salvation. It is, however, what saved people do. Not because they are scared of loosing salvation, but as Paul says in Romans 6, “Why would you go back to living like an idiot?!” Or something like that. You have been given new life! Pursuing the good, leaving the bad and dumb, isn’t about earning salvation but about actually enjoying life! Do good for goodness sake. It’s fulfilling.
See, I wonder if in our so-called former Christian culture we crossed streams, if you know what I mean. The therapeutic gospel of “God loves me and whatever I’m doing” slipped into a political agenda.
Whatever. “You” are actually not that cool. “You” have a lot of annoying traits. “You” hurt people with your people and yourself. Your feelings are whacked. Your passions are literally illogical. You really should want to be better. We all would benefit from it! You actually aren’t being really you! You are being a bizarre false creation of you that you have produced in your wicked little skull. In fact, the more that you listen to the little voice, the less YOU you get. When you try to find yourself, you actually lose yourself further.
But that’s ok. You, and all the various asinine manifestations of you, are forgiven. Jesus died for every ridiculous version of you you have produced. You little Frankenstein.
Jesus is the only who could truly say, “I need to just be myself,” “I need to trust my instincts,” “The world needs me to be me because no one else can.”
Friend, you are forgiven. You and all your nasty little derivatives are forgiven. And you will rise again. And finally you will truly feel like yourself and you will be able to follow your instincts.
For now, you are free to try to be better. And that’s ok. We love you.