The title of this post reminded me of the song “This is Me” from the movie, The Greatest Showman. It’s sung by the bearded lady at the circus. The point is that she wants to embrace who she is: a female with a beard; unique, in other words, not a weirdo. While I think we must embrace our God-given personalities, the truth is that what we are, what we really are, is not something you want to sing and dance about. The truth of what I am, anyway, isn’t something I want to shout from the rooftops. And if I did, you wouldn’t applaud, but you would be shocked and disappointed.
This past Christmas, my family gave me a book called The Valley of Vision. It is a collection of Puritan prayers. I have been reading one each day as a devotional. Today’s entry convicted me greatly. You see, I tend to view myself as being pretty good. I see myself as putting in the effort every day to live for God. Yes, I fail, but I tell myself that they aren’t huge failures. Yes, I struggle, but doesn’t everyone? It doesn’t take long before I have either completely justified myself in my own eyes, or excused myself for my failings. While I am humiliated to see in this prayer the truth of who I really am, I am also encouraged to know that God knew this about me, and and set His love upon me anyway. I know I don’t deserve it, yet I often act as though I do (Rom. 7:15-16). It is good for me to face the truth of who I am head on; to be reminded of the person that God saved. As Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Only God completely understands the depth of my sinfulness, and only He is able to truly love and forgive me. I thank Him for it!
Maybe this prayer will bless you today by helping readjust your focus about who you really are – and I hope and pray that you have trusted in Christ alone for salvation, for He is the only one who can grant it.
My every sense, member, faculty, affection, is a snare to me,
I can scarce open my eyes but I envy those above me, or despise those below.
I covet honour and riches of the mighty, and am proud and unmerciful to the rags of others;
If I behold beauty it is a bait to lust, or see deformity, it stirs up loathing and disdain;
How soon do slanders, vain jests, and wanton speeches creep into my heart!
Am I comely? what fuel for pride!
Am I deformed? what an occasion for repining!
Am I gifted? I lust after applause!
Am I learned? how despise what I have not!
Am I in authority? how prone to abuse my trust, make my will my law, exclude others’ enjoyments, serve my own interests and policy!
Am I inferior? how much I grudge others’ pre-eminence!
Am I rich? how exalted I become!
Thou knowest that all these are snares by my corruptions, and that my greatest snare is myself.
I bewail that my apprehensions are dull,
my thoughts mean,
my affections stupid,
my expressions low,
my life unbeseeming;
Yes what canst thou expect of dust but levity, of corruption but defilement?
Keep me ever mindful of my natural state, but let me not forget my heavenly title, or the grace that can deal with every sin.
— Author Unknown. (2003). Self-Deprecation. The Valley of Vision (pp. 132-33). Edinburgh, UK: Banner of Truth Trust
This much I know: This is me.