Spin Class. It is a class where you sit on a stationary bicycle and pedal your legs off to go nowhere. I go twice per week, almost every week, and yet every class makes me feel like I have never done it before. Every class is super-challenging and I achieve new levels of profuse sweating each time I go. Our instructor leads the way by giving us a kick-butt workout. Periodically, she will yell out, “listen to your body! Go slow and get water if you need to. You do you, Boo!”
It seems these days, our culture is yelling out, “You do you, Boo!” with respect to just about everything. The general sentiment behind the saying is: do life on your terms. Don’t let the culture, the thoughts or the judgements of others impede your living your life in a way that is “true to you.”
On the surface, this seems like sound advice: Do not succumb to what social norms are, or what others think about you, but rather, live by your own standards. Here is the main problem with that: Man’s standards change. Today, the standards by which someone lives will undoubtedly be different than the ones they lived by 10 years ago, or will live by 10 years in the future.
“Jesus Christ”, and therefore His standard, “is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) As Christians, we are told in God’s Word that we are uniquely, intentionally and perfectly created. We are also called to live a life like Jesus Christ, not only our Creator, but also our Lord. This presents what the world may view as a dichotomy: Live like the amazing person that He designed me to be. Yet, live like Christ.
It isn’t a dichotomy at all! We are fearfully and wonderfully made BY Christ (Psalm 139:14), AND we are the image-bearers of Christ (Genesis 1:27). Not only that, as Christians, the Spirit of Christ lives IN us! Therefore, when we receive the challenge to “be imitators of Christ” (1 Cor 4:16 and 11:1, Eph 5:1, Phil 3:17), we are actually being told to live out the Christ IN us! In doing so, we are putting our absolute best selves out there!
“You do you” to a Christian says, “let Jesus shine out of you!” This means we should strive to love unconditionally and serve selflessly. We bear the fruit of the Spirit of Christ living in us: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Does this mean that every Christian will live like Christ at all times? I wish it were so, but sadly, no. We are all human and we each succumb to sin. But God judges our hearts and its desires. When our utmost desire is to serve Him, He knows this. As a believer, our sins are forgiven, but we still suffer the consequences of them. The best we can do is try to stay in lock-step with Jesus to resist temptation and sin by fixing our mind and heart and attention on the things of Him. Jesus says that if we “seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
In spin class when my body is screaming to take it down a notch, I need to adhere to the “you do you” mantra so that my body doesn’t rebel and completely shut down. When I am going about the rest of my life, I need to let the Jesus in me be what shines out of me. That will be the best me for others to see.
I just went on the “rootiest” hike I have ever