The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Given Anyone

The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Given Anyone

A few years back my dear friend Anthony connected via Facebook with a friend of our family who was teaching English in China. He was pretty intrigued by her and decided he wanted to see if there was anything there romantically. So he came with me to China and our friend Joy agreed to come up and meet us in Beijing.

Now, the thing you need to understand about Anthony is he is EXTREMELY extraverted. When he gets around a group of people he comes alive, and back then he tended to get a little loud. Knowing this about him I gave him a little advice right before they were going to meet. “Maybe you should tone it down a little when you first meet her.

I was thinking about that advice this morning and realizing how horrible it was. I think it stemmed from my own lifelong insecurity with how God made me. I’m a strong, outspoken personality and it has gotten me into trouble most of my life. In school strong personalities aren’t really appreciated. They want everyone passive and compliant. It makes indoctrination easier. But I digress.

Fortunately, Anthony didn’t follow my advice. He tried for a few minutes, but then he kicked into being himself. And he snagged a great woman that way. A few months later they were engaged. They are happily married now. It all started that night when Joy got to see the real Anthony whooping and hollering and laughing and joking – right out the gate.

There is obviously a time and place for everything. You’ve gotta be wise about when to be loud and when to be quiet. But I think a lot of times we are afraid to just be ourselves. Or worse yet, encouraged to not be ourselves, by insecure folks like me.

The older I get the more convinced I am that the greatest gift you can give to God and to the world is to be you. Just be who God made you. No matter how wild or off-beat your personality may be.

God does everything for a purpose. He made you how you are for a reason and it would be a shame for us to never benefit from that. Some people will get you, others won’t. But don’t ever be afraid to just be you.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14