Have you ever had the experience of being a big fish in a little pond? Sadly, too many people have no idea what this reality truly feels like. What it feels like to be so comfortable in your own skin, amongst a group of people, that you lose all fear of being rejected. The feeling of being able to be who God has created you to be, right out in front of everyone else, without any apologies. The feeling of living within the grace that God has extended to each one of us. Sadly, not all of us have experienced the wonder of being a big fish in a little pond.
There are so many people in the world who have never once experienced the freedom of being who God has created them to be. People who live in a constant stressful state of being who others demand that they be. People who live in a constant stressful state of fear, because rejection is just one misstep away. There are so many people in the world who have never known what it is like to be accepted and loved for being who God has created them to be. There are so many people in the world who have never been a big fish in any little pond.
Not the little ponds of their families, their friends, their schools, their places of work, their neighborhoods and yes, sadly, even their churches. Why is this? Why doesn’t everybody know what it is like to be a big fish in a little pond? This question can only be asked by one who has been blessed to know what it is like to be a big fish in a little pond. For there are too many others who don’t even know to ask this question.
The answer is extremely simple, it just isn’t easy. The answer is the human perspective of a zero-sum game. The very notion that you being a complete you, diminishes the ability for me to be a complete me. Thus, I must prevent you from being a complete you, in order that I can be a complete me.
Didn’t God create enough space in reality for all of us? Based on the zero-sum game perspective, he didn’t. The more space that is taken up by you being you, means there is less space for me to be me. Didn’t God create enough reality real estate out there for all of us to inhabit? A zero-sum game perspective says “No”. I cannot be a complete me if you are a complete you. So, I must prevent you from being you, so that I can be me.
Funny, that in this zero-sum game perspective, the definition of a complete me always wins out over the definition of you being a complete you. Nobody ever voluntarily suppresses their being, simply because they believe that who they are is in some way preventing someone else from being themselves. The closest example of a perspective like this is Jesus voluntarily coming down from heaven to dwell among us, as one of us. But Jesus voluntarily suppressed his being in order to save us, to release us from the bondage of sin and death so that we can truly be who God has created us to be. Not to prevent us from being ourselves.
People suppress who they are because someone has taught them that they can’t be who they are. On the outside, the reason given for this suppression is that who they are is wrong or bad in some way. In this perspective, the suppression of their being is seen as a gift. For it prevents someone from being wrong. When, in reality, they are being told this falsity because someone else is operating out a zero-sum game perspective. That someone else is so afraid that you being a complete you will diminish their ability to be a complete person themselves.
You being a complete you in no way affects my ability to be a complete me. That is, unless I don’t like who you are. Unless, who you are offends me in some way. Then, all bets are off. I will use whatever means necessary to suppress you, so that I don’t have to deal with you. I would much rather prevent you from being you, as opposed to live with you being you. In other words, I want to be a big fish in a little pond and I believe that the only way this can happen is to prevent you from being a big fish in any little pond.
See, simple, but not easy. God wants you to be you and he wants me to be me. Oh, and God has provided plenty of reality real estate out there for this to happen. So, don’t be greedy. Just be who God has created you to be and allow others to be who God has created them to be. This is God’s infinity-sum game!