It sucks being a female, especially a Korean one, what with all the expectations and such. I can’t pretend to relate, just empathize. But yeah, not easy. When I’m at Jieun’s pretty much nothing is expected of me, because whatever, I’m a guy. When Jieun comes to Houston, even if we’ve been up till the wee hours playing Dr. Mario or whatever, she has to make her appearance early in the morning. But she’s a trooper, with that and all the other expectations. Expectations suck. Plus that whole pregnancy thing. I feel for you women. But at least you’ll never have to experience slamming your genitals into a steering wheel at high speed.

I’m against being true to yourself. In a sense. I think there’s a difference between attitude, the inner heart, and action, the outer presentation. And I think being true to yourself applies to the first, but I’m not sure Biblically how much it applies to the second.

A couple friends had a fascinating discussion about serving the homeless. The question was whether it made sense to help everyone, even those who were directly responsible for their own state, like drug users. Each side had really interesting things to say.

Anyway, my take is, there needs to be a distinction between attitude and action. My opinion is, we need to be compassionate to everyone in our hearts. Since it’s only by grace we are where we are. But I don’t think that translates to blindly helping everyone. For one thing, that might not be what’s best for them long term. Sometimes, love must be tough. For another, while we probably shouldn’t ignore anyone, I think Scripture is clear in emphasizing helping those who are helpless for reasons beyond their control, summed up in the phrase “the fatherless and the widow”. Do a search and that phrase comes up tons of times in the Bible. It’s crazy.

Anyway, I’d draw a distinction with being true to yourself in heart and in deed also. Sure, be true to yourself in heart. Knock yourself out. Although that doesn’t mean being true to just how you are, but your identity in Christ. But in action, I think being true to yourself is anti-Biblical. Paul says this in 1 Corinthians 9:

Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Paul keeps saying he acts like someone he’s definitely not for the sake of the gospel. Being someone you’re not in action for the sake of a greater cause isn’t a bad thing. It’s a good, noble thing. Looking at the rest of Scripture, I’m fairly certain you won’t find anywhere it telling you to stand up for your rights, to fight for who you are. And I’m positive it says repeatedly and consistently to lay down your rights, even those that are justified, for the sake of others.

So that’s my take. We should learn to be true to ourselves, comfortable with who we are, in our own self-identity, our identity in Christ. Without that, we’re lost. But in terms of how we deal with others, I’d say Scripture is clear that we should lay down who we are for the sake of others.