Recently I was living my best life by having lunch with our youth director Tim Floyd at Korma Sutra, an Indian Restaurant in Overland Park that I was introduced to when we first interviewed here that I want to stay closely acquainted with, and, among other things, he shared about how his life has been impacted by the social media platform TikTok. I think of TikTok like YouTube meets Instagram and BeReal. It can hold your attention with video after video but it can also connect you with people in cool ways. There is lots of comedy on there as well as helpful advice and good story telling. There are surely lots of unhelpful things on there as well so don’t take this as an endorsement but while I was on TikTok this week I saw a video by a friend of mine named Kevin Wilson that got my attention that I subsequently played on repeat multiple times.
Kevin is from Sri Lanka and became famous on multiple social media platforms while serving as a youth pastor in Oceanside, California. His videos often revolve around chai tea, his personal experiences and spiritual/emotional well being. He shared that he is a recovering perfectionist and when he is trying to get everything done on his to-do list he can start to feel less than human. I have had that experience. I once got really rigid about my schedule and to-do list and unintentionally stopped being myself. A close friend told me so. Stress increased. The joy of life drained away and I was not feeling as human.
After introducing that problem I’m sure many of us have lived, he shared a cool solution that he learned from one of his friends that I’m excited to pass on to you. Instead of living by a to-do list, which is not bad to have but isn’t sufficient to live by, he recommended having a “to be” list. Instead of measuring success in life by accomplishment, what if we measured it more by who we are and who we are becoming? To me, this sounded very healthy and I decided to work on my “to be” list right then and there.
Tomorrow is my 36th birthday and begins the countdown of the last 50 days of 2022. We have lots of things to be thankful for, many people to enjoy and much celebrating to do, but I truly hope that by the next time this season rolls around I will have updated more significantly than cell phones do from one generation to the next. And I do believe that God is even more capable of making those changes in me than all the genius magic workers at Google, Apple, Windows etc. combined.
I think reflection on who we are now and contemplating who we want to become are great ways to start the updating/upgrade process. When I think of who I want to become I feel it’s best to start by looking to God’s word to see who He wants to make me as well. So when I made my list I looked at the love chapter that is 1 Corinthians 13. I looked at Galatians 5:22-23 which lists the fruits of the Spirit. There is more to look at in Romans 12, the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 and other great passages of Scripture and I would encourage us all to look at these passages and more to discover who God will definitely help us to become if we let Him.
So I started my list and I’ll share some of it here. I want to be a listener who processes well and responds wisely whether I’m interacting with people or content they’ve created. I want to be one who trusts God, listens to Him that thus has perspective and lives by faith. I want to be a person who treasures God and the people He has created in my thoughts and my actions. I want to be consistent and dependable yet full of surprises. I want to be a man with a growth mindset that is always improving in my habits. I want to have a healthy view of me in relation to God, I think that would make me both humble and confident because the God that is so far above me is also with me and for me.
That’s the beginning of my list after contemplating 1 Corinthians 13 and Galatians 5:22-23. I am encouraged to do further reflection and hope you are too. Are you who you want to be? Are you becoming who you want to be? By God’s grace and empowerment you can be, in all that you think, say and do.
I’ll let scripture put the finishing touch on this blog by sharing Romans 12:2 which says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” - Pastor Nick