Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Me I Don't Want to Be (by Kevin Martineau)

Today's guest post is from pastor, blogger and encourager Kevin Martineau. Lest you think pastors have it all together, he's here to tell you that that's not the case.

Hi! My name is Kevin Martineau. I am the pastor of Port Hardy Baptist Church on beautiful Vancouver Island. I am married and have three daughters. My blog is Shooting the Breeze and you can follow me on Twitter here.

Have you ever struggled with pretending to be someone that you are not or struggled with being what other people think you should be? I have.

For many years, I thought I had to have everything together as a pastor. I thought that all conflict was bad and it needed to be avoided at all costs. I thought that people wanted me to put on my big fake Christian smile and suck it up and pretend that nothing was wrong.

The problem was: SOMETHING was wrong! I was hurting. I was confused. I was anxious. I was stuffing my emotions and my passions. The result was a 3 month medical leave (or forced Sabbatical as I call it now).

During that time off (with the help of many skilled counsellors and much pain) I began to realize how much I had not been living out my true self – the me that God wanted me to be! I hadn’t been living out my passions because of fear and I wasn’t being true to myself, my family and the people that I had the privilege of leading.

This has been a 3 year journey now (and I am sure it is going to be a lifelong journey). I wish that I could say that I have it all together now but I don’t. I still struggle with some of these issues. Thankfully God continues to lead me forward on this journey and recently He brought a great book into my life to further help me. The book is The me I want to be by John Ortberg (who happens to be one of my favourite authors. I have read ALL of his books.)

I am only two chapters into the book and my world is already being rocked. Today, I read this chapter: “The Me I Don’t Want to Be.” In this chapter Ortberg challenges us to come to grips with the rivals that stop us from becoming the person that God wants us to be. They are:

The me I pretend to be.
The me I think I should be.
The me other people want me to be.
The me I am afraid God wants.
The me that fails to be.

This chapter really hit home for me because of all that I have already mentioned. I recognize that I need to do some more evaluation again. I need to drop the “masks” that have come up again and be the person that God wants me to be! I don’t want to go to back to being the me that I don’t want to be!

“Spiritual greatness has nothing to do with being greater than others. It has everything to do with being as great as each of us can be.” Henri Nouwen

Do you struggle to be the person that God wants you to be? What rival stops you the most?


jasonS said...

Yep, I definitely struggle. For me the rivals are more internal, but I can also get really discouraged by what people say and not even realize it until later. I have a lot of growing to do. :)

Cassandra Frear said...

How wonderful that God has taken you through all of this!

For me, Spiritual Greatness is a matter of rest.

I rest from trying to be anything at all. I strive with God, working beside him, to make the vision He has for my life come true. But it's about him, not me.

Spiritual Greatness means I recognize that I'm incapable of judging myself accurately. I'm content to leave the judgment of my character by God and by others in his hands. He will render a perfect analysis. He will provide what is needed.

It means the passion of my life is knowing him and making him known, rather than making myself known.

~*Michelle*~ said...

Like Jason biggest struggle is from within. One of the hurdles that I need to overcome is being concerned that I am not pleasing God with every aspect of my life/behavior/etc.

I've never had too much of an issue of what people think of me....I am who I am. Especially when it comes to my love of Jesus and letting people know (hopefully without even uttering a word, but by my actions)....I do not shove a Bible down anyone's throat, but I will never compromise in that area.

I think this book will be put on my reading list!

Thanks for sharing, and nice to meet you Kevin. :)

Lucas said...

I think the me that I want to be is the same funny, vibrant, adventurous me that others want me to be. I also think it's the me that God wants me to be, because it equips me the best to live out his will; to be living as godly as possible so that I can be an effective witness to non believers. Also so that I can CONNECT the best with non believers to make them wonder "what's different here?"

Anonymous said...

I think if we are honest, all of us struggle. As teens we were constantly taught about peer pressure. I believe it only gets worse the older we get.

I strive to come to a place where my only concern is to be the Me that God would have me be. (I haven't gotten there yet, but I'm trying.)

Helen said...

The me that fails to be.....

Thanks for the book recommendation.

Bonnie Gray said...

This is the onion I'm continuing to peel... it's a struggle, but every time I peel off a layer, it feels more like living... and I'm' truly happier, experiencing God's love for me... through others who accept me for who I am.

Great post, Kevin!

Kevin said...

Thanks everyone for your great comments!

Duane Scott said...

An honest post. I can relate, Kevin!