I hate this expression with everything in me. I asked my niece who came up with it and when she told me Kanye West, I was even more confused as to why this phrase caught on like wildfire. Who’d repeat the rantings of a delusional man? Furthermore, who needs permission to be great?
It bothers me to no end that this saying is constantly repeated and that it seems people believe they really need permission to be boundless. I can’t begin to tell you how many adults I know whose illustrious projects have come to a halt because they felt every hiccup along the way was due to someone not letting them be great.
That’s so super stupid.
You were born great. In Psalm 139:13 David declares about God: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” My mom crochets and knits. It’s a meticulous and time consuming craft that provides her with much joy. Nothing about it is arbitrary. No stitch is haphazard. She takes special care with each design and even when she draws inspiration from a pattern, none of her knitted items are exactly the same. Now imagine God knitting you together in your mother’s womb. Not only did he take time and meticulous care to craft you for your purpose; He did it with joy. Every hair on your head, every stretch mark and patch of cellulite, every gift, every flaw…all part of His design for your life. He drew inspiration from your parents, but you are your own unique objet d’art crafted by the Hands of the number one Knitter. That alone makes you great. So why do you need the permission of earthlings to be that which God had already granted you?
Your experiences make you great. We were not all born into the same situation. For some of us, life has been far more challenging than others. One thing I CERTAINLY get tired of people telling me is: “Everyone wasn’t raised like the Johnsons.” That’s true. I came up in a very intact home and I owe much of who I am to being raised with Anna, Clarence, Tank, Annette, Judy, Kevin and Eric Johnson. However that doesn’t mean that we have not had our share of struggles; made our share of mistakes; and been dealt our share of heartache. Furthermore, how we grow up and the mistakes we make along the way don’t give us permission to not be great. I know people who are almost 50 years old and still blaming their stagnant adult lives on their childhood. Well…you’ve been an adult longer than you were a child at this point. So how much longer are you going to let the first 18 years of your life dictate your whole life? Your experiences, ALL OF THEM, make you unique and that makes you great. You have a story that is distinctively yours. Philippians 3:13 reads, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” #PushThrough Put the past behind you and focus on the future. It’s up to you whether your test today turns into a chance to testify tomorrow, and if you ever want to quote Kanye I’d rather hear you say, I gotta testify…’fore the day I die, I’mma touch the sky!
Your actions make you great. You were born great. Your experiences help cultivate that greatness. It’s in you. What you gonna do with it? Potential energy is the stored energy an object has because of its position. Objects at rest have potential, and that’s cool or whatever, but kinetic energy is the energy possessed by a moving object. All moving things have kinetic energy. So it is with your greatness, it’s only potential until you get moving! You want your life to change? Take action! Romans 12:11 teaches us to be zealous and not slothful. In other words, don’t be lazy! Stop sitting around scared! Don’t stand still and expect your dreams to meet you halfway. Be a go-getter! A goal digger! Don’t talk about being better, BE better! Because your time on earth is limited in case you didn’t already know. If you don’t need their consent to die, why do you think you need it to live? You don’t need permission from anyone to be great. You are great. So stop giving yourself permission to be ordinary.—Sean Johnson