“I had the privilege of both serving as Ray Perkins’s pastor and later, calling him my dear friend. Growing up, I was more than aware of who he was, of his records as a player, and of his tenures as a college and NFL head coach. Much more important to me I later had the chance to know the man. Ray’s personality can be gruff and, at times, a bit “stand off-ish.” People sometimes mistake that for aloofness and for arrogance. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, during my time as a pastor, I have never met a more caring, giving, sincere person. Certainly Ray lives by a set of strict personal standards that he often holds others to as well but through my interactions with him, I have found a genuine child of God and a dear friend.”
The following is an excerpt from the book, “You can’t Do EVERYthing…So Do SOMEthing: Small Ways to Change the World” by Shane Stanford.
I was having a chat with someone yesterday and during the conversation, we started discussing ‘image’. “Certainly, I do not believe”, I shared, “that image is everything”. Everyone won’t see us the way we are – as a matter of fact, it is likely that no-one but God sees us for who we truly are, and representing yourself, is so much more than your image, because one’s image would please some, offend others, and confuse the rest. Let’s take the example of Jesus, of his many encounters, he had varied reactions and responses, though he never changed – he carries about as the same person throughout the Gospels. Some liked him, some said he was a fraud, some wanted to kill him, some were confused saying he doesn’t look the way they thought he would. Yet, we see that the people who knew him intimately all describe him as life, truth, love and peace and the epitome of freedom. They describe him in ways that flood the heart with tenderness. In that regard, did Jesus’ image really help people to understand who he was?
We can strive to hold ourselves to high standards, in pursuit of Jesus..but throughout this, we must be the ‘selves’ that does not conflict with God’s word, because this is the ‘selves’ that he also desires us to be. He will guide us correctly, as we pursue him closely, but know and trust that he knows who is following him and each of us are crafted specially and specifically for the task we each have at hand (or heart, if not yet brought out of it’s hiding). Don’t let other’s perceptions of you keep you back. Only let God’s perceptions of you make you yearn to continue following him, whilst He does the work to make you better…a better ‘you’…not a different ‘you’. Is there anything keeping you back from being your ‘self’?
Well, happy *being to ya! (*the verb ‘being’)