I was “born this way.” This is just “who I am.” Such overly simplistic maxims are the new moral measuring stick.
And why not? If we are unsure of an objective goodness (God), then why not use your self as the measuring stick to measure your self?
So the false logic continues, if I was born this way, then I must be okay being this way. If this is the way I am, then isn’t this the way I should be? I mean, after all, God doesn’t make mistakes right? So if this is how He made me, then it must be good and true and beautiful.
We use this to justify just about anything. It’s dangerous. We may be born innocent, but we’re not born perfect. And we are born with a stain of original sin and into a fallen world that distorts us. We battle our concupiscence – our tendency to sin – with victory and casualty. We are scarred and influenced by everyone else’s fallen nature and the imperfect world we grow up in. It’s safe to say that “who I am” is clouded in a bit of mystery and haze. It’s the great quest of our lives, really. Not who am I now with all of these bruises and baggage, but who am I deep inside and who should I be. Who is the perfect person hidden within the muckity-muck, beyond the imperfections of my body, the scars of this life and the sin of my soul?
And the great journey of life is clearing all of that away to reveal the clean image and reflection of the creator. So accepting just “who you are” in a superficial sense is not only spiritually dangerous, but it’s boring. And it’s a cop-out.
We are born large, unfinished rocks. If we measure who we are by how we’re born, a large, unfinished rock we shall remain. But beneath the flawed rough surface is a magnificent and beautiful statue, waiting to be revealed.
It’s a lot like elephants, actually:
A fool-proof method for sculpting an elephant:
First, get a huge block of marble, then chip away everything that doesn’t look like an elephant.
And so it is with uniquely you. The idea is not to end up looking like everyone else, of course. It’s to end up looking like you. The suffering and the trials of life are what help us chip away everything that doesn’t look like “us.” It’s called sanctification. Becoming the best version of yourself. It’s what God sees when he looks at you.
But the hard part is how do we know what we’re supposed to look like? How do we discern between what makes us uniquely beautiful and what are fatal flaws? For that, we need an objective guide post. We need some standard of beauty and goodness that is outside of ourselves. We need something that is right where we are wrong.