Introducing our new "Fearless" study series.

DIY: Why Am I Not Real About Who I Am?

Be willing to be yourself

DIY studies are interactive Bible studies designed to help you build an engaging relationship with God. These studies will teach you to use various tools like podcasts and videos to engage with the Bible in a way that best fits your learning style. These studies were originally created for teens, but can be helpful for anyone. Click here for a printable version of this study.

This study is about being willing to be ourselves. It can be easy to get caught up in who we think others want us to be – whether it’s people at school, church, online, or parents. This study will focus on the stories of Saul and David, in order to get a better understanding of what it means to be fake and what it means to be real.

DIY Watch This: 1 Samuel

Watch this video to get a visual summary of the story of Saul and David.

DIY Watch This: Fitting In

This scene is from the movie Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl. Greg, the main character, goes through high school never really committing to one friend group. He navigates through each clique and tries to be friends with everyone, adjusting his personality according to the people he is around. We find out later in the movie that this is because he doesn’t think anyone will accept him for who he really is, so he just tries to be everything everyone wants him to be instead.

How do you try to fit in or pretend to be something you’re not?

DIY Listen

Listen to the song “Bright” by Kehlani. Pay attention to the lyrics and think about how you relate to them.

Can’t nobody love somebody
That do not love themselves
You are what you choose to be
It’s not up to no one else
So be great, be kind
Don’t let them dim your light
A woman, like the sun, should always stay bright…
A man, like the sun, should always stay bright
Yes, you are like the sun so always stay bright

Think About It

  • Kehlani emphasizes the importance of being ourselves, and not basing our self-worth on what someone else thinks.
  • We each have something unique about ourselves that makes us shine bright, and focusing on what other people think about us dims that light.
  • Do you feel like you need people’s approval to feel confident or happy?
  • What are those qualities about yourself that you’re afraid of showing?

Part 1: Saul

Read

Samuel said, “In the past you didn’t think that you were important, but the LORD chose you to be the king. So you became the leader of the tribes of Israel. [18] The LORD sent you on a special mission. He said, ‘Go and destroy all the Amalekites. They are evil people. Destroy them all! Fight them until they are completely finished.’ [19] So why didn’t you listen to the LORD? You did what the LORD said is wrong because you wanted to keep what you took in battle.” [20] Saul said, “But I did obey the LORD! I went where the LORD sent me. I destroyed all the Amalekites. I brought back only one— their king Agag. [21] And the soldiers took the best sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal.” [22] But Samuel answered, “Which pleases the LORD more: burnt offerings and sacrifices or obeying his commands? It is better to obey the LORD than to offer sacrifices to him. It is better to listen to him than to offer the fat from rams. [23] Refusing to obey is as bad as the sin of sorcery. Being stubborn and doing what you want is like the sin of worshiping idols. You refused to obey the LORD’s command, so he now refuses to accept you as king.” [24] Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I did not obey the LORD’s commands, and I did not do what you told me. I was afraid of the people, and I did what they said. [25] Now I beg you, forgive me for doing this sin. Come back with me, so I may worship the LORD.”
1 Samuel 15:17-25 ERV

Think About It

  • Saul wanted to be everything to everybody. He wanted to seem “spiritual” to Samuel by saying he did everything God told him to, while at the same time seeming “cool” to the people he was with.
  • Saul was so busy trying to please everybody that he didn’t have his own thoughts or beliefs about what he should do. Everything he did and said became whatever he thought people wanted him to do and say.
  • God doesn’t want us to be controlled by what people think. Verse 17 says that Saul’s desperate need to be liked by everyone came from his fear of not being good enough or important. God wants to free us from this deep insecurity, choosing us for who we are, not for who we pretend to be!

Key Questions

  • How do you try to fit in with the people around you?
  • What are the insecurities that stop you from being yourself?

Write About It

  • How does it feel when you are constantly trying to please people? What images and emotions come to mind when you think about pretending to be someone you’re not? You can write a poem, song, spoken word, or even just use bullet points. Use this emotions chart to help you when you feel stuck.
  • If writing is difficult for you, you can draw out what you feel instead.

Part 2: David

Read

O Eternal One, You have explored my heart and know exactly who I am; [2] You even know the small details like when I take a seat and when I stand up again. Even when I am far away, You know what I’m thinking… [6] It is the most amazing feeling to know how deeply You know me, inside and out; the realization of it is so great that I cannot comprehend it… [23] Explore me, O God, and know the real me. Dig deeply and discover who I am. Put me to the test and watch how I handle the strain.
Psalm 139:1-2, 6, 23 VOICE

Think About It

  • In contrast to Saul, David wrote this psalm feeling confident that he could truly be himself. Because God knew the real him, David didn’t feel like he had to pretend to be anyone he wasn’t.
  • When we believe that God loves us for who we are, we no longer have to rely on the approval of other people. We can be free to be our true selves with both God and our friends because we don’t have to be afraid anymore.

Key Questions?

  • Do you believe God knows and loves the real you? Why or why not?

Review or Reflect

  • How does it feel to know that someone knows the real you and loves you for who you are? What does the “real you” look like? What would it look like if you were confident to be yourself? You can write a poem, song, spoken word, or even just use bullet points. Use this emotions chart to help you when you feel stuck.
  • If writing is difficult for you, you can draw out what you feel instead.

DIY How to Start Praying

T.R.U.E. Prayer is an acronym that can help you start learning to pray.

T = Thanksgiving
R = Requests/Needs
U = Uncovering Sin
E = Emotions

DIY For Further Study

Bible Study:

  • Read the rest of 1 Samuel to get a better understanding of who Saul and David were and how they interacted with God.
  • Read the rest of Psalm 139 to see what it means to be known by God
  • Read Psalm 32 and Matthew 6:6 MSG to learn how to pray about the parts of yourself you’ve been hiding.

Do:

  • Pray about the insecurities and fears in your life that stop you from being the real you.
    Find Scriptures about where your fear and insecurities come from and what God has to say about these.
  • You can look up keywords in BibleGateway or other Bible search sites to find these Scriptures. (Some keywords to try:  fear, afraid, honest, true, God’s love)
  • Talk to a friend or family member that you trust about what those fears and insecurities are.
  • When you are tempted to try to fit in and pretend to be someone you’re not:
    • Use the Scriptures you found to help
    • Pray about what insecurity is making you want to pretend and pray through the Scriptures about God being with you.
    • Be honest with a friend or family member about these temptations so that you can be confident to be yourself again.
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