“Own Your Flavor”
By: MARY RABE
Hi, my name is Mary and I am a people pleaser. Well, I am a recovering people-pleaser. For most of my life I have cared too much about what people think, and I have just desperately wanted to be liked by “all the people, all the time”. The problem is, this isn’t at all realistic. There’s just no way that every single person I meet throughout my entire life will end up enjoying my personality, temperament, quirks, etc. As my mom likes to say, “Sometimes we just aren’t their ‘flavor’.”
Maybe God likes to use ice cream to teach me important lessons (or maybe I just eat a little bit too much of it and see references to it everywhere) but I feel like the myriad of ice cream flavors is a good way to demonstrate this truth. Right now, there are over 1000 different flavors of ice cream to enjoy. Some are super sweet, and some have a bit of spice; some are rich and decadent, and others are simple and light; some have a whole bunch of extras like nuts and candy and fruit, and others are perfect with a more subdued taste. Can you imagine how boring it would be to only have a handful of icecream flavors? We would never want that! And God didn’t want just one or two different personality types for His people, either. Every “flavor” is important because it showcases a distinct part of our amazing God! No one personality is “better” or “worse” than another, although since we live in a fallen world everyone has both a good side and a not-so-great side to their personality. Don’t you think it’s wonderful that God chose such variety?
Just like not everyone likes every single flavor of ice cream, there are going to be people that just don’t appreciate your particular brand of personality, humor, and beliefs…and it’s ok. Some people will think you’re too sweet, and others will claim they can’t handle your “spice”; some will be turned back by your strong flavor, and others will claim they just aren’t a fan of the added ‘nuttiness’. All of this doesn’t change the fact that God made you this way on purpose, for a purpose. Our job is to point others to God, not to try to get them to like us or appreciate how we were made.
It can hurt to feel rejected or unrecognized by others; believe me, I know. Still, we can’t let that stop us from being who God designed us to be. Imagine if you ordered a strawberry cone, and when you took that first highly-anticipated taste, it was pistachio! Disappointing, right? Guys, don’t try to change who you are in order to get others to like you. If you do that, there will still be others who won’t enjoy the “new” you! Really, it’s a pointless pursuit to seek the acceptance and applause of people. We are just too fickle! In Heaven, we will all know and enjoy each other fully as God intended, and it will be simply beautiful. For now, though, we need to just accept that having someone dislike us does not diminish our value one iota. God made each of us the “flavor” we are intentionally; so let’s honor Him by being as sweet, spicy, chocolatey, or nutty as He made us to be.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m pretty sure I hear a big bowl of ice cream calling my name.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.” Psalm 139:13-15, NIV
“I live before the audience of One-before others I have nothing to gain, nothing to lose, nothing to prove.” – Os Guinness
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
“Stop regarding man…for of what account is he?” Isaiah 2:22 ESV