A renowned rabbi who lived in Poland in the 1800s, had many famous sayings. This is one of them: “If I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you, then I am I and you are you. But if I am I because you are you, and you are you because I am I, then I am not I and you are not you!”
Did you catch that? It sounds like a riddle, but it’s actually a very simple concept. When someone lives their life according to what others might think of them, then they don’t really live an authentic expression of who they really are. Moses…(taught) the Israelites – and us – that we must live our lives according to what God will think of us, as opposed to what other people may think of us. There will be times when doing the right thing won’t be popular and doing the popular thing won’t be right. We need to do “what is good and right in the eyes of the LORD.”
We live in a society where people care immensely about what others think of them. Whether we realize it or not, the things we say, the clothing we wear, and the places we shop are greatly influenced by others. Yet, ,,, this (can rob)…a person of his or her individuality. While it’s normal and natural to want to fit in, there is also a time and place for standing out. It’s far more important to “fit in” with God and be cast aside by the people around us than to fit in with everyone around us and be cast away by God.
Take a look at your life and ask yourself what God might think of it. What does God think of how I dress, how I spend my time and money? Forget about impressing our friends for a while, and figure out how we might impress our God!
Excerpt and adapted from Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s Holy Land Moments July 31-13