If you have a teenager in your house at some point you have heard them utter the phrase “you do you”. If you’re not familiar with the phrase, I’ll give you a couple of examples. Let’s say your daughter’s 10-year-old sister comes out of the bedroom wearing an orange shirt, purple pants and pink shoes. Your 17-year-old might look her up and down and say “you do you”. Or maybe your son comes home and tells you that his friend has decided that she’s going to date other girls and he responded to her with “you do you”. It’s essentially an easy way to say “I don’t agree with what you are doing, but I don’t have the right to tell you how I really feel about it”.
On the surface this seems like not a big deal. But this phrase is an indicator of a big problem in our society. Sometimes the problems go unnoticed because they appear gradually. The Bible tells us that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, and because we men like a fight, we’re looking for the lion. The problem is that while we are looking for the lion, Satan is whittling away quietly in the background. This phrase, “you do you,” is just a manifestation of our over-tolerant, selfish society. A society in which it’s wrong to rebuke someone for a sin. A society in which someone gets lambasted in the media for speaking about the biblical truth that our society is completely ignoring, and even accepting and promoting. A society in which someone standing out for truth is a “hater”. So the question is, are we men going to sit back and continue to allow Satan to whittle away at our families and our children or are we going to step up and stand out as men of God?
I know, and so do you, that Jesus never would have said “you do you”. Let’s take a look at a story in Matthew, Chapter 19:
16 A man approached him (Jesus) and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?” 17 Jesus said, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There’s only one who is good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments.” 18 The man said, “Which ones?” Then Jesus said, “Don’t commit murder. Don’t commit adultery. Don’t steal. Don’t give false testimony. 19 Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 20 The young man replied, “I’ve kept all these. What am I still missing?” 21 Jesus said, “If you want to be complete, go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this, he went away saddened, because he had many possessions.
Now Jesus could have looked at him and said “Hey, you do you”. The man could have kept his possessions and followed Jesus too, right? But Jesus instead asked the young man to stop “doing him” and start following. This passage shows us that there is a big difference between following Jesus and “doing me”. Stepping up and following Jesus requires giving up everything. Everything that this world tells us is good and right. “Follow Jesus” is the opposite of “you do you”.
The effects are vastly different as well. Doing me gets me nowhere. I did me for 35 years. I can tell you the results of doing me. Doing me got me a failed marriage and a life that hit rock bottom when I was in my mid 30s. It was at that point that I stopped doing me and started following Him. And my desires have changed from getting what I want and doing what I want to trying to share Jesus as much as I can, wherever I go. He placed within me not just a desire to stand out as a better man, but to encourage other men to do exactly the same. That desire is what prompted us to create small2TALL.
So the question again is, are you going to step up and stand out as a man of God, or are you going to “do you”? You can’t have both. Some might say that “you do you” is just an expression of individuality and that I’m arguing against that, but I’m not. You can be an individual and follow Jesus. Being an individual doesn’t mean anything goes. It doesn’t mean that we have to put aside our morals, put aside the gospel, put aside Jesus, in the name of individuality. But we also don’t need to take individuality to the extreme. I’ve said before that when people look at me I want them to see the Holy Spirit wrapped in a Kevin suit. Yes, I want people to see me when they look at me, but more importantly, I want them to see Jesus. I want them to see a man of God who stands out from the crowd, one who is set apart from the grown-up little boys that permeate our society. A man of faith. A man of integrity. A man of purpose. A man who can be counted on. Do you want that too?
I pray for each and every man reading this. I pray that this will strike a chord in the hearts of Your men. The ones that You have created not for their purposes, but for Yours. I pray that this causes men to step up and stand out. That they realize, maybe for the first time, that they’re here for a reason. That reason is not to play around. It’s not to be a little boy in a grown man’s body. It’s not to stay seated when we need to stand. It’s the purpose that You gave us. To be examples of You. To stand for what’s right instead of sitting idly by while “you do you” becomes the norm. And to lead others to know You in a real way. Father, give these men strength, give them wisdom, give them a desire to stand out as men of God. And not for their glory. For Yours. I pray this through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ.