“If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection.” – Lecrae
One of the hardest things about being an artist is accepting rejection from your peers.
In 2007, I had the opportunity to play a minor role on “The OC”. No, it wasn’t even close to important, but to me it was the world. A few friends and family members were told (by me) about the opportunity and I couldn’t wait to make them proud!
I arrived at set, only to discover that they wanted me to play a male prostitute…My agency didn’t tell me anything about the role, even assuring me that it wouldn’t conflict with my values. I guess they didn’t quite understand my values.
To make the story short, I embarrassed myself and asked to leave since the role conflicted with my convictions. The Assistant Director didn’t understand. It was humiliating…It was incredibly difficult…And standing for my convictions was the right thing to do.
Being an actor isn’t the only world where we crave acceptance. The human heart craves acceptance in the hallways of high schools, the ladder-climbing of corporate offices, the material circus of shopping malls, the self-righteous competition of religion, the local gym comparisons, the newest car, the biggest house, the coolest friends, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
If we’re not careful, we will find ourself suffocating by comparison, dying by rejection.
What if it’s OK to be different? What if it’s alright to be ourselves, even if other people don’t “get” us? The older I get, the more I am accepting that not everyone will get me, but they don’t have to for my life to make a difference.
One of my favorite albums by The Cranberries is titled “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” I love the music, but disagree with the album title. Instead of asking that question, what if we began to ask a more difficult, yet wise question:
“Even if everybody else is doing it, why should I? Will it make me a better person? Will I be pretending to be someone else in order to fit in?”
Last I checked, I am created to be me, not you. Don’t get me wrong, you’re cool; but I like being myself. We were never created to be clones.
Maybe you feel like a misfit, rejected by all the so-called “cool” people. Inside scoop: their opinion of you never mattered anyway. God made you in His image, not theirs.
Jesus didn’t die for the fake version of you. Jesus died for the real you. He died for the broken, yet incredibly loved version of you. He knows where you’ve failed and he knows who you long to become. He loves that you, not the pretend you.
It’s OK to be different. It’s alright to be yourself. It’s not weakness to go against the flow of self-destructive behavior, it’s strength.
We need you, not a clone of anyone else.