How to resemble Jesus while becoming “me!”
St Francis de Sales reminds us that the best way to resemble Jesus is to be a genuine me. In fact, de Sales puts it this way: Be who you are and be that well as a tribute to the master craftsman who created you. The emphasis with de Sales is on the “who you are” and not on “who you are not.” Good advice from a 17th century saint on living in this “Look at me!” world of today.
Why? The voices surfacing from our culture keep telling us that we are only perfect when we wear this exclusive brand or eat this healthy, organic food. And we definitely need to be seen only in this luxurious car as we rush to meet our friends at this swanky new in place. And, if we do fail these voices we are not that “in” person.
Francis de Sales tells us that being who we are has nothing at all to do with fine clothing, fancy places, or glitzy glamour. The secret to our being authentic and genuine is already existing deep within us. We surface it by being attentive to what’s inside, instead of looking over our shoulder and seeing what someone else has or does. We cannot evaluate ourselves on what is missing, or what he or she has that we don’t.
De Sales’ insights remind us that God makes everyone unique for a distinctive purpose in this world. It may be to discover a cure for cancer, or simply to be a good person with a specific role in building God’s kingdom.
We find this out simply by spending time with ourselves. And we ask, “What is in my present moment? What gifts do I have to use in them? What talents emerge in the course of my day?” Answering “none” to these questions is not an option. God gives each of us talents and gifts, that we may love Him more. Finding and developing them brings us inner peace.
Others may sing better, dance better, write better, but they are not you and that’s essential. They cannot fill the role you are meant to play in God’s Kingdom. God needs you to seek, discover, make mistakes, ask for help, be open-minded, and pray to find what your gifts are for the sake of His Kingdom.
With each discovery, we realize more of who we are and that someone resembles Christ. These discoveries may happen quickly or over time because we often have to prod deep to find the Jesus who lives inside and wants to be born anew through us. We have to take it one step at a time to get it right—for as we grow and mature and become more comfortable with this developing “me,” Jesus comes to life.
If we make mistakes (and we will), these mistakes don’t make us unwise, but rather, show us what we don’t need. They also allow Jesus to fill in our weaknesses with His mending love and courage. Remember, Jesus became more divine as He showed more of His humanity—through His love, compassion, concern, and kindness.
On our life’s journey, we need to gain insights from our present moments. It is through these that the Holy Spirit prompts and Jesus guides us so that we do resemble more closely the person God dreams us to be: His Son Jesus.