“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” (Hebrews 11:24-25 NIV)
Be yourself. Don't try to be somebody else. God made you for a purpose; he made you for a plan. There's nobody who can be you except you.
Moses had to deal with this at the very beginning of his life. In Egypt the baby Jewish boys were condemned to die, so his mother put him in a little boat in the Nile River. It happened that the daughter of Pharaoh was taking a bath, and she took this little boy back into the palace to raise him as her own son.
Moses had an identity crisis. He was born Jewish, but he was raised Egyptian. He had to ask himself at some point in his life, "Who am I?” This was quite an important choice because it would determine the rest of his life. He was in line to be Pharaoh. If he said, "I'm an Egyptian" and faked his heritage, he would live a life of ease. He would have an outstanding career. He would have fame and fortune.
If he said what he really was — Jewish — he would be humiliated, kicked out of the palace, and sent to live with a bunch of slaves for the rest of his life.
Yet Moses saw his people being badly mistreated as slaves, and he could not be silent. He was a man of character and integrity. He could not quell his conscious. So he made a decision that cost him the next 80 years of his life.
Hebrews 11:24 says, "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter” (NIV). The word “refused” in the Greek literally means to reject, deny, to totally disown. Moses cut himself off from a promising career as an Egyptian, and he refused to live a lie. Instead, he wanted to do what God had made him to do.
There's something liberating about just being yourself. The quickest way to an ulcer is to try to be somebody you're not. If you want to live an effective life, just relax and be yourself.
Talk About It
What differences do you notice — physically, emotionally, and in the way you treat others — when you are not trying to be anyone but yourself?
What circumstances in your life pressure you to be someone you are not? What can you do differently?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.