095. Why Shouldn’t We Tell People ‘Be Anything You Want to Be’?

09 Apr, 2013

It’s a phrase that’s meant to inspire people to accomplish their dreams.  But really it’s totally wrong. Sorry to be a downer, but you can’t be anything you want to be. No matter how hard I try and how much practice I put in, I will never be an NBA basketball player, a concert pianist or Celine Dion.

Now this reality check might sound a bit harsh, but what really is harsh is someone wasting their life trying to do something they were never designed to do. God has designed you a certain way – because God has a purpose for you. He’s made you a certain gender, He’s made you look a particular way, He’s given you a certain personality.  All for a reason.

Some people are outgoing, some are shy, some are leaders, some are supporters, some are motherly. Some people are good a public speaking, singing, graphic design, cooking, or computers.

God has done all this because He has given you purpose by giving you a function in the body of Christ. I have been asked to speak at churches before, but they will never ask me run the nursery.  Those kids would be running out into the halls within five minutes.  With poop stains. I can help family members with their computers, but if they wanted my help with cooking, they’d better like Cheetos.

Yeah, we’d all like to be something super awesome like an actor, athlete or Celine Dion.  But that’s for selfish purposes.  We want to be famous and rich, but God doesn’t always need famous and rich. Sometimes He needs humble and caring. 

Sometimes He needs a nurse that will console someone who is suffering.  Sometimes He needs someone to cook the meals for the sick. God has given you a purpose.

So what do we do?

First, we need to thank him for making us who we are – with the particular gifts, talents and resources he’s blessed us with and stop wanting to be something else. Then we need to figure out how we fit into the body of Christ… What types of people are we good at ministering to?  What types of situations?  Where has God given us the time and resources to help?  The trick is to keep our eyes open.  

Opportunities for ministry are everywhere, we just need to see them. So instead of trying to be something that you want to be for your own reasons, try to find out what God has designed you to be.  And when you are living in obedience to God like that, you will be happier than if you were living your dream as a cheeseburger. 


1CO 12:12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. [13] For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1CO 12:14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. [15] If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. [16] And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. [17] If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? [18] But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. [19] If they were all one part, where would the body be? [20] As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 1CO 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” [22] On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, [23] and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, [24] while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, [25] so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. [26] If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Take time to pray: Ask God for the humility to want to live out His purpose for your life rather than wishing He made you different. Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness. A phrase we’ve heard since childhood is, “If you put your mind to it, you can grow up to be anything you want to be.”  That’s why I became a cheeseburger.

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