Be Yourself

Be Yourself

Being yourself can mean many kinds of action. Why?

Because inside all kinds of selves live. There's our worst self, our best self, our in-between self. Sometimes we do deeds or say words that make us wonder five minutes later: "Now why in the world did I do that? I just can't make any sense out of it."

Of course not. Because we're complicated creatures, far more complex than mere animals. Most animals' actions can be predicted—they act on instinct, and we've learned what to expect of these instincts.

But human beings! What a difference! Sometimes we act on instinct. The next time, from habit. The next time, from pure reason. The next, from the highest religious motive. The next, from a mixture of common sense and idealism. And so on. You see, we all have minds, our natural instincts that are built in, so to speak, our consciences that try to keep us morally straight, our bodily needs that demand satisfaction, the artificial desires that come from the world around, and other complex urges that pull us here and there. Very, very few persons act consistently from one motive only.

So, we can, if we choose, be as mean, stingy, and selfish as we please, and still be ourselves. When we steal, swear, cheat, and lie, we are being ourselves. But not our best selves. For there is another side to us—the God side. The Bible says, "God created man in his own image." What a thrilling idea: We're like God.

The more like him we strive to become, with his help, the more we're really our best selves. Sure, we can act like animals, but we're then being false to our heritage, no matter what excuses we give.

To be your best self, your true self, is hard, but possible. If it were impossible, do you think God would expect it of us? No, for he is a just God, not an unjust one. He expects of us no more than we can achieve.

I would like to suggest that you be:

Your best self physically. Nobody enjoys a weak, flabby, slumped-down body. Unless we're crippled by disease, there's no excuse for having such a machine to live in. You enjoy life most when you're bursting with good health. The body is the temple of the soul. It's the place we live in all our lives. Some people, who'd be ashamed to live in a shabby, unpainted, run-down house, go around in the weakest kind of bodies. Be your best self physically. Life will be better.

Your best self mentally. Scientists tell us we use less than one-tenth of our brain. Some people we know use less than that. Now is the time to sharpen your brain—to give it workouts that will pay off later. Fill your mind with great ideas, good work habits, uplifting thoughts. It takes no more storage space for good thoughts than for trashy ones. Set aside regular periods every day for study, Bible-reading, concentration, and meditation about God. Watch yourself grow mentally.

Your best self spiritually. Your soul is your most prized possession. And it's the only part of you that goes beyond the grave. What are you doing with it? Are you keeping it locked up, half-starved, poorly exercised, and forgotten? You can, you know. Simply by not using your impulses to be generous, loving, gentle, brave, and worshipful, you can shrivel up the soul, until finally it is too weak to speak up at all. Be your best self spiritually.

Yes, you can be yourself, your best self, if you pray daily for God's help. Be true to yourself, and you'll be true to him.

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