He was my friend a long time before I ever heard him preach.
We were good buds and had been for a long time. In most situations, I knew how he would respond to something before he actually had the opportunity. He was so relatable. He was casual credibility.
So, that’s why I was shocked when I heard him preach. It didn’t sound like him.
It sounded like someone else.
It might have been good if it was someone else, but it wasn’t. I know his personality, and it was being swallowed up by some projection of who he thought others wanted him to be.
Was he trying to sound like someone? Was he attempting to be someone he was not?
I wasn’t sure, but it simply didn’t fit.
“So, what did you think?”
Pause. Gracious smile. Niceties offered.
But then I was honest.
“It was good, but it wasn’t you. And I feel like when you let yourself be you in the pulpit, it’s gonna be something entirely authentic and unique. I don’t want to hear someone else. I want to hear you.”
I think we waste so much of our lives trying to be someone we are not.
God didn’t make a template and desires cookie-cutter copies. We’ve got plenty of copycats. We need originals.
Like David trying to wear King Solomon’s armor, some equipment we put on simply does not fit. It feels awkward, and we are unable to do any type of damage with it anyway.
I’m not sure what you do, or what you feel called to do, but I do know this, if you have to act like someone else to get it done, then you aren’t offering what God wants you to offer. If he wanted someone else to do it, he would have asked the other person.
But he asked you.
He’s asking you.
Don’t settle for something less and give us an impersonation when we can experience an imprint.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.Psalm 139:14
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,Jeremiah 1:5
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Be an original in a world full of imitations. You don’t need to be anyone else other than who God made you to be.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.