Will The Real You Please Stand Up!

During the 1950’s the game show “To Tell The Truth” aired on national television. Three persons, all of whom claimed to be the same person, are presented to a panel of guest stars. After a brief sketch of the person’s life and occupation is presented and the panel questions each one of them, the panel votes on who they believe to be the actual person described in the sketch. The host then ask, “Will the real Grady Yeargin, please stand up?” After a few moments hesitation, the person described in the sketch stands up.
Recently, I came across a new insight about what it means to be free. It grows out of a statement made by Jesus in response to a challenge from the Pharisees. Jesus says to them, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:35-NIV)
To be free in this context means to experience life as God intends it for us to experience it by being the persons He has created us to be. It suggest that when God created each of us, He gave us our own peculiar gifts, talents and abilities as well as our own peculiar personality, spirit and way of being in this world. The words of Jesus indicate that there is no greater freedom, no greater joy, and no greater fulfillment in this life than that which comes from being our authentic selves. The Master’s words also suggest that we become our most authentic selves when we are in a close and personal relationship with God our Creator who knows us better than we know ourselves. It may be that one of the greatest sins in this life is to live as an imposture, as someone other than our real selves. We may do it in order to impress others, to be accepted by others, or to hide from others because we do not think that much of the person we believe ourselves to be. Whatever may be our reasons for doing so keeps us from living with the sense of well-being that we so desperately crave.
Before Jesus makes that statement about being free indeed, he says to the same Pharisees, “…you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The truth about all of us is that we are children of God made in His image and likeness; that we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14-NIV); that each one of us is loved by God in God’s own peculiar and particular way. Therefore, the greatest gift we can ever offer to God, the greatest glory we can ever give to God is being the persons God has created us to be.

So when life raises the question, and life will surely find a way to raise that question; when life does ask, “Will the real (your name), please stand up”, who will rise to his/her feet and stand? Will it be the real you or will it be some imposture posing as you? In the vernacular of street corner wisdom: “Be who you is, and not who you ain’t, ’cause if you is who you ain’t, you ain’t who you is!”






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