Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 9. Nobody

Proverbs 12:9
Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant,
than pretend to be somebody and have no food.

This verse reminded me of something from the movie, The Talented Mr. Ripley. Matt Damon's character, a con artist, says, it’s better to “be a fake somebody than a real nobody." I thought that was such a perfect way to capture our desire to be somebody. To matter. To have a life and a name and a reputation that was important or respected.

But this verse hits hard at the temptation to pretend to be somebody and the emptiness that results when you fake your life. You are left with nothing because no one can really knew you. Even your friends that you might attract by pretending to be somebody can't really love you because the person they're trying to love doesn't actually exist. It's a character. It’s a composite drawing of traits and emotions and words that you've constructed to look well put together. To look like you’ve got it figured out.

But at the end of that journey, at the end of trying to pretend to be somebody, you can't help but be left hungry. For attention. For affection. For companionship. For validation, for all the things you thought you'd get if you were somebody, but instead you just found more hunger.

Let's be nobodies instead of pretending to be somebody.

14 comments:

Erik said...

Well now you just went on and described my life! For years I tried to be somebody and eventually the truth caught up with me and now I am paying the price. Bitterly. Hopefully I can be a nobody for Christ for the rest of my life and not lie to others and myself as I did.

heartafire said...

Gosh, this is so great.
We have all been that person, and we also know someone well who is that person.

I love the verse: "I must decrease, that He might increase."

It is so true---every time I am too big for my britches, God humbles me, and I have learned to be thankful for that! (or rather, I am learning to be....)

He is faithful to do it, too....usually by allowing me to feel the separation between us. He says to me, things like, "How can I draw people to Me through you, when you are just trying to draw them to you?" and things like "We can't both be divine" and "'Omnipotent' means I have ALL the power."

It really rubs me the wrong way at first, but, you know, He's always right.

Anonymous said...

What a great way to explain that versre! Thanks Jon!! I needed to hear that!

Alicia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alicia said...

This is so true. I know I'm not alone in saying that I have spent far too much time trying to be someone I'm not. Only within the last year have I really started to discover my true self, which is far less interesting to some people than the person I was pretending to be, but at least I am being genuine and true to myself. Thanks for the reminder.

Paul said...

For most of my life my desire has been to allow you to believe I am the person you would like to think I am while simultaneously keeping you at an emotional distance that will never really allow you to know much of anything about me for sure. The end result is that we get along but there's never any genuine connection. Eventually I move on and you don't really seem to notice. I became quite adept at this. The fear of pain will lead us to destroy ourselves if we let it. Being real is a whole lot harder. It's messy. But we can never be nobody when we allow others to truly know us.

Melanie said...

This is good! You are young but you are very insightful! I am a grandmother of 12 and a mother to 6. I enjoy your blog, keep on keeping on and God bless!

Courtney said...

This reminds me of a line from a Sara Bareilles song, "Bottle It Up":

"I don't claim to know much except soon as you start to make room for the parts that aren't you it gets harder to bloom in a garden of love."

Anonymous said...

This kind of reminds me of something I read that was once written about MySpace and Facebook profiles. It said something like, "MySpace and Facebook aren't as much a depiction of who you really are or what's really going on in your life as much as they are the picture of who you want others to THINK you are and what's going on in your life."

Julianna said...

How very true this is! Glad to see a verse to solidify some thoughts I've had recently. I wish some people I know would find who they are IN GOD and be happy with that and stop searching elsewhere. Not that I don't need this verse - I struggle with envy and this is a great reminder to me to be thankful for what I have and who I am.

heartafire said...

Jon, I am loving the comments here, as much as your original post. Thanks to all the thoughtful people who took time to comment.

sahi veeraraghavan said...

i love your blogs it makes my day!!


so true!...Jesus is amazing..dude!

Sarah said...

Amen! In someways nobodies are more useful to God than somebodies. Nobodies don't have an agenda, so they're totally available for God to use. When I find myself trying to be somebody, I find myself taking care of my own agenda...and becoming part of God's problem instead of being used as part of his plan.

Stacy from Louisville said...

God bless you Jon.