Be Who You Are

Have you heard the story about the farmer back in the great depression that was desperate to find a job?

A passing circus came to town so he went down to see what they might have. “I’ll do anything,” he begged. The manager’s eyes lit up. “Anything?”  “Yes, anything.” ” Well . . . I need a new gorilla. The old one died and we don’t have the money to replace him. Would you be willing to dress up in a gorilla suit and do the act?   It’s a little dangerous. You’ll have to swing on a rope over the lion’s cage. Can you handle it?”

The farmer was desperate, so he swallowed his pride, donned the gorilla suit and took to rope swinging. They measured the rope carefully so that the angry lions couldn’t quite reach him. In no time his act became one of the real crowd-pleasers. Every night he would  grunt, growl and swing his arms like a gorilla.  He would then walk over to  the rope, grab hold and swing out above the snarling lions.  People came from everywhere to see the gorilla act.

Then it happened. One night he lost his grip and tumbled into the lion cage. An angry lion immediately sprang towards him, snarling and growling. The poor guy in the gorilla suit lost it, “Help!” Help me somebody save me.”

“Shut up you fool,” the lion whispered, “You’re going to get us both fired.”

I laughed out loud when I read that. And then I thought about it. Isn’t that a fine description of this world? So many are wearing their masks and pretending to be something they aren’t just to impress the crowd.

Maybe that’s you.  If it is can I make a suggestion?  Take off the monkey suit and be who you are. Stop trying to pretend.

The one thing that seemed to irk Jesus the most was when people tried to fake it through life. God wants you to be authentic, transparent, and genuine. After all, he made you. He must have thought the world needed someone like you. He must be satisfied with what he sees. Don’t be afraid to be who you are.

That’s how the great apostle Paul was. And he wasn’t afraid to admit it. He told the Corinthians,

1 Corinthians 2:2-3

2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified

3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling.

I never thought of Paul as being weak or in fear, but he was. And he didn’t care who knew it. Slide out of that monkey suit and be who you are.

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