Summary: Real acceptance from God and peers can only come when we discover God’s unique plan for our lives.
A Couple of weeks ago we started this 2 part series called LIFESWAP.
We started with the question: “Have you ever wanted to be someone else?” Most of us answered, “YES, at Times.”
We learned 3 valuable thoughts:
1. Celebrate who you are
2. Love the God who made you
3. God is with you – He is our Emmanuel
Tonight, I want to really think about how we LIVE IN THE SHADOW of other people.
I have met a lot of people who unknowingly live in the shadow of other people:
•Younger brothers live in the shadow of their older brothers popularity
•Younger sisters live in the shadow of their older sisters good looks
•The new member of the football team lives in the shadow of last years star player
•The new cheerleader lives in the shadow of the former cheer captain
•This year’s American Idol will leave in the shadow of all the previous winners
•Like Sons of Hollywood (AETV) These Hollywood boys live in the shadow of the superstar fathers
•Like My Super Sweet 16 (MTV) many young ladies will compare their sweet 16 to their friends - if it doesn’t measure up, it’s not good enough!
There are times when we feel like we are living in the shadow of someone else - times when we think that no one sees us.
I remember growing up IN THE SHADOW of my older brothers. I would go to a sporting event or whatever and everyone would say, “That’s Kevin Bishop’s brother” or “That’s Scott Bishop’s brother.”
And all I wanted was to simply be “Todd Bishop” – I did not want to live in someone else’s shadow.
As a matter of fact, I still don’t. I just want to be who God made me to be.
Galatians 6:4-5: “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (MSG).
God never planned for you to live in anyone else’s shadow - HE MADE YOU TO BE YOU!
SOUND / LIGHTING – Play the “Shadow” Video by Ashley Simpson. It is in the powerpoint. Shut off all the lights. Make sure the volume is on and up.
How can you live outside the shadow of someone else?
1. Refuse to live someone else’s life (“exploration of who you are”)
So often because of the shadows that we live in we are pressured to live someone else’s dream.
Hear this tonight: You are not someone else. YOU ARE YOU!
There is no way around that. I am not you. You are not me. You are not the person next to you. I am not the person in front of me.
YOU ARE YOU!
The Bible teaches in Galatians to EXPLORE WHO WE ARE.
Every person is UNIQUE. We all have different talents, abilities, gifts, and experiences that are part of WHO GOD MADE US.
Don’t try and be someone else - refuse to live someone else’s life!
2. Avoid the trap of comparison (“don’t compare yourself”)
The Bible teaches us in 2 Corinthians 10:12 that when we compare ourselves to other people it is foolishness.
Why is comparing foolishness? Because every person is UNIQUE. You are one of a kind. There is NO ONE like you in the world.
LIFE PRINCIPLE: Comparison is a trap that cripples you from growing!
Why do we compare ourselves with other people?
•We don’t like who we are
•We think other people have it easier or better
•We wish we had what other people have
If you want to grow in every area of your life don’t compare yourself to others - avoid the trap of comparison.
3. Live God’s Purpose for your life (“the creative best you can with your own life”)
We need to do the very best we can with our lives.
What is God’s purpose for YOUR life?
Many times we have tried to define our purpose or we have let others define who we are - the truth is, GOD CREATED US FOR HIS PURPOSE!
“Why are we here?” It is a question every theologian and philosopher has asked since the beginning of time.
So often we find ourselves living someone else’s life or we are living in someone else’s shadow that we have a difficult time see God’s Plan and Purpose for us.
You and I are created totally different - we are wired different - we think different - we look different - we talk different.
So if everyone is different, why do we want to all be the same?
One word answer ------- ACCEPTANCE!
Real acceptance from God and peers can only come when we discover God’s unique plan for our lives.