I opened the mailbox and rifled through the collection of papers waiting to be opened.
Bills, bills, junk mail, bills…I stopped when one brightly colored advertisement caught my eye.
Clutched in my fingers was the smiling face of Dolly Parton.
I scanned the ad, admiring the bright, glossy sheen. Dolly Parton was coming to my hometown? Why hadn’t I heard about this? Miss Islands-in-the-Stream-I-Will-Always-Love-You was coming to my city next week? Why wasn’t this being blasted from every television and radio station in town?
I’m not a mega fan of Dolly’s, but still, someone of her acclaim should be welcomed with more than a flyer. No fanfare or hoopla?
I studied the flyer again and that’s when I caught it. “Dolly Parton” was in big, bold letters. Underneath in teeny, timid font was the word “Impersonator”.
It went on to list the lady’s name and accolades, but I was no longer interested. With a shrug of my shoulders, I tossed the flyer in the trash, wondering how the venue could possibly fill the number of seats available in only a week.
Why did I toss the flyer? Because no matter how wonderful the impersonator was, no matter how talented or how close she looked or sang to the legend, she was not the real Dolly Parton. I was interested in the actual artist…not an imitation.
Fake is never as valuable as the real thing.
I spent a large portion of my young adult life being a poor imitation. No, not a Dolly Parton impersonator (although I can manage a killer imitation of Julie Andrews). No, I’m talking about something much more serious. I was a people pleaser. I lost myself, my worth, and the girl God had created me to be because I foolishly thought approval equaled love. It doesn’t.
Living for approval, for that stamp of acceptance from your peers will turn you into an imitator. Oh, you might be a great one. You might be able to sound and look like the real thing. But just because something looks like the real thing doesn’t mean it is.
How many of us are giving up our status as a diamond in the King’s crown, only to spend our resources pretending to be cubic zirconium instead? Anyone who knows the difference between the two can easily tell you the diamond is infinitely more precious. Why do we spend our lives trying to be something we’re not? The simple answer…we don’t see our own worth.
“For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].” (Ephesians 2:10 AMP)
When we live for approval, when we become plastic people, or worse yet imitators of plastic people, we are throwing away the beautiful purpose designed for us before we were ever born. What a tragedy.
The world already has a Dolly Parton. But there is only one you. Only one person with your unique fingerprint. Only one person with your unique blend of talents, skills and quirks. Don’t throw away your worth trying to be an imitation.
Jesus didn’t just die for Dolly Parton. He died for you. Know your worth in His eyes. Your destiny depends on it.