Isaiah 49:1,3 "The Lord called me before my birth. From within the womb he called me by my name...He said to me, `You are my servant'..."
Psalm 139:13 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb"
Maybe it's just me, but I need to be reminded that I am the only ME there is on this planet. Not that this should create in me an arrogant pride, but an awe inspiring love and adoration for God who created me!
I am now 40 years old, and for far too many years I was trying to be like someone else so I could be loved and accepted. My story is different than yours I am sure being "in the ministry" ... I wanted to be like this preacher, or that preacher ... I tried to preach like this pastor, or use his same body movements, or say the same catch phrases. I stopped this a long time ago (8 years ago), and I am so glad to just be me, the only me there is... and I am okay with not being liked ... at least I am me ... it's the truth ... I feel fully alive.
SIDE NOTE: If you are a pastor or teacher out there reading this; I challenge you to be you man (or woman)! Preach the sermons that God gives you for your church. (nothing wrong with using people's material from time to time, especially if it's good ... but if that's all you do ... I don't think that's good.) In 7 years of being the pastor at Mercy Church I have maybe used other pastor's material a dozen times... and I've delivered over 350 messages! Here's the deal ... sermons by YOU may not be as good as the other guy ... but again, at least its YOU! (Just a thought... MY thought ... love it or leave it!)