I’ve noticed several billboards around my city over the past few months. I’m not even exactly sure who the organization is that the billboard is supposed to be advertising, but they usually feature a person that has accomplished something significant in his or her life. This is apparently accredited, in some way, to a rebellion against a certain establishment. Therefore, if someone wants to be like the person that’s featured, you have to simply do what the slogan says: Just do you.
We probably overhear some version of this credo nearly every day. Its wired into our culture. It’s a pretty consistent message in the world. It says that if there is any sort of reproach for the way you are, don’t let them oppress you. Just be yourself. Just like the late Robin Willams puts it:
The message is warm and fuzzy. It feels good. Its a universal statement of individuality that is meant to create a sense of confidence by placing yourself and your well-being above all others. But it’s an empty, surface-level, and superficial mindset that does anything but address the real problem of being yourself: Yourself.
The problem with following your own heart is that the heart, a metaphor for human will and emotion, is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). Satan will whisper in your ear that you can trust yourself; that you don’t have to obey the commandments of Christ, or anyone else for that matter, because they cramp your style. Is this because Satan wants to show support of your individuality? No. Its because he knows that following your own natural passions and desires will lead you straight into his ultimate goal for you, the wide gate of destruction. (Matthew 7:13)
Being yourself in today’s culture means being led by your natural passions and desires, and not by the Holy Spirit. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
When your heart is quickened by the Holy Spirit in the hearing of the gospel, it is regenerated and your gaze is fixed on Christ. (Titus 3:5) You are a new creation. No longer a slave to sin and death, but a slave to righteousness (Romans 6:18) Jesus doesn’t give you your natural desires. He makes you alive, and changes your heart to desire glorifying Him.
Doesn’t leave much room for Just do you.
I’m not talking about your sense of individuality. God made each one of us for the purpose of His own glory. I believe He beautifully makes our personalities extremely unique to serve that purpose. We were never meant to be clones of each other. However, if your sense of individuality overshadows who you are in Christ, thats a problem.
The Bible says Christians will be tempted to give up and just be themselves. Putting on the new self (Eph 4:24) will create a war between your new spirit of righteousness, and your old nature in the flesh (Gal 5:17). This is a war that you must fight until you die. Satan wants you to just do you. Why? Because its throwing in the towel, and its deadly. If the enemy can get you focused on just being yourself, then you won’t be focused on Christ.
Who we are in Christ
Just in case you’ve forgotten, here are a few things the Bible says we are if we are in Christ.
- Redeemed and Justified through faith in Jesus. God sees Christ’s righteousness imputed to you. There is no distinction. (Romans 3)
- No longer a slave to sin and death. (Romans 6)
- A child of the holy, all-satisfying, all-knowing, sovereign God of the universe. Not too shabby. (John 1:12)
If you ask me, Just do you sure does place the bar low. Being who you are in Christ is infinitely better.
Grace & Peace