Mountain View - Be Yourself By Paula Friedrichsen

Writer Author  Church On The Mountain
Christian Column : Christian Living  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer I love to cook. I have always loved to cook, even as a child. My mother tells about forcing my older sisters to endure my many unique culinary creations—not allowing them to complain in my presence. She would give them “the look” as I came proudly to the dinner table with a curious dessert consisting of green Jell-o mixed with raisins, sunflower seeds, and grapes. And because of that look they picked at it with nary an unkind word.

Thankfully I think my cooking skills have improved over the years. And because my mother allowed me to express myself in the kitchen, early in life I developed the joy of putting foods together in interesting ways. Maybe that’s why my favorite analogies are food analogies… so here goes:

It’s a cold winter’s evening and you’re on your way home from a long and hectic day at work. It’s dark outside and the rain is falling fast and furious. The wind is icy, cutting like a knife, but finally, after fighting the elements, you arrive home safely. You shake out your coat, slip off your boots and trudge up the stairs to see what’s for dinner. You can smell something, but it’s still unidentifiable and you’re just pleased to warm yourself in front of the fire.

“Dinner’s ready!” And boy, are you hungry! “We’re having stew tonight.” Your mouth waters in anticipation. And there, set in front of you is something he’s calling “Tabasco Stew”. That’s right, a stew where the main ingredient is Tabasco sauce. You tentatively drag your spoon through it hoping for a chunk of meat or maybe a potato or two, but no, this “stew” appears to be mainly just Tabasco sauce.

While my story may seem a little ridiculous, the point I’m making is this; beef and vegetable stew with a couple of drops of Tabasco sauce is absolutely delicious—but a stew made up almost entirely of Tabasco sauce would be awful! And in the same way life is made up of many different personalities and when they are combined they create something beautiful. But if they were all copies of each other, our lives wouldn’t have a pleasant flavor. God never intended that we should suppress our true personality in order to conform to other people. Each and every person that God created has his or her own characteristics and abilities, that when combined with others, sends forth a wonderful aroma to our heavenly Father.

As I’ve grown older I find one of my greatest desires is to be more authentic. Nothing put-on, nothing fake… just the transparent, authentic, and genuine person God made me to be. Don’t you agree that there’s nothing worse than a phony? It’s distasteful, right? Not only is it distasteful, but it makes the person who’s pretending to be something they’re not seem needy, pathetic, and desperate. But on the other side of the coin, there is nothing more attractive than someone who is confident enough to be who God made them to be. No apologies, no insecurities, no excuses.... Just an honest representation of who they really are.

“He who has no opinion of his own, but depends on the opinions of others is a slave. To only dream of the person you are supposed to be is to waste the person you are.” (Frederic Klopstock)

“Nobody is so disappointed and so unhappy as the person who longs all of his life to be somebody other than who he really is. Most of our challenges in life come from not knowing ourselves and ignoring our best, real virtues.” (John Mason)

“The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position.” (Leo Buscaglia)

If you can relate to this and it’s a familiar struggle in your life, ask God for the freedom to start being who you really are… the person with your own particular laugh; your corny sense of humor; your less-than-perfect body shape; your intelligence level; your facial features; your height; your weight; the way you cry so easily—or not at all; your exuberance; your shyness; your loudness; your quietness; your seriousness. Whatever it is that God made you to be, you will honor Him by not hiding your true self, and by being fully “you.” The only thing you will ever be good at is being yourself.

Paula Friedrichsen is a member of Church on the Mountain, a vibrant community of believers in Crowley Lake. We meet at 9:30 Sunday mornings. Call for more information: 935-4272 or

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