“We can be anything we want to be, but we can’t be anyone we want to be” (Paul Hudson). “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” (Oscar Wilde). As a child, anytime I pretended to be what I was not, my mother would call me by name and say this proverb: “Tadpole, don’t carry yourself as if you’re a fish.” Just because a tadpole lives in the same pond with baby fishes—and looks and swims like them—should not make it think itself a fish. Our identity (who we really are, not our ambient situation) must dictate how we carry ourselves. We live in a world of pretense. We pretend in order to be liked or get what we want. But pretending can be emotionally draining and sickening. It’s like drinking alcohol or doing drugs: “the more you consume, the worse you feel… the worse you feel, the more you consume. And then one day you take a look at yourself and feel sick to the stomach” (Hudson). Be honest; live without pretending. Be real with people—and with God. (James 2:14-26; John 2:23-25). For a distorted identity can be costly, as the fish-pretending tadpole can easily land itself in a fish-lover’s soup.—Samuel Koranteng-Pipim
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