Just Do You — Really?

I was on a flight to the Answers in Genesis’ Creation Museum to speak at a worldview conference.  Since this was my first flight in March, I picked up the current issue of Sky Magazine to see if there was anything interesting in it.  As I glanced at the cover, my attention was drawn to a headline.  On the cover of this issue of of the magazine was a picture of Oprah Winfrey. Next to her picture in bold letters I read these words, Living Her Truth. Of course, I was intrigued and quickly turned to this lead article. When I arrived at the article, the title page captured my full attention.  The entire page was a strong shade of red.  There was a large O with the words of the article’s title inside the O.  The title read The Wisest Woman in the World.

Wow, I didn’t realize that ,of all the women in the world, Oprah was the wisest. I assumed that is why she is living her truth. I am not taking anything away from what she has accomplished in her life. Rising from the ashes of poverty, Oprah has built a multi-billion dollar enterprise and has started some very worthy endeavors.  However, why did the article’s author think Oprah was the wisest woman in the world and what was meant by the words Living Her Truth? Had Oprah discovered some truth that no one else knows? Has she the source of some new truth that everyone else needs to know?

The article is actually an interview that the writer conducted with Oprah. One of the questions asked Oprah was:

You often talk about listening to your inner voice and “finding your truth.” But how does someone actually do that?

Oprah’s answer provides us with great insight into her belief system or worldview. She explained:

Every human being is born with his or her own internal GPS system. If you get quiet enough and stop your head from spinning, ask yourself: What. Should. I. Do? Just take a deep breath, because everything is in the breath. It’s your life force. Or ask yourself the question, What do I really want? What do I need? Then just get really still and listen…These are the most powerful questions because most people have not yet answered them for themselves. They have their mother’s answer. They know what friends want but most people don’t have it figured out on their own. What will it take to make me truly happy? What gives me joy? What fills me up? When am I most myself? Most people have not asked those questions. (Emphasis mine)

I couldn’t help being amazed by this woman’s advice to other people.  It provides us with the core belief of all man-centered worldviews.  In a man-centered worldview, God does not exist or God is defined by the individual.  In Oprah’s case, the concept of God is in one’ breath — for one’s breath is one’s life force.  

This type of belief system sees man as being totally autonomous.  This means you must determine what is right for you and then do it, regardless of the consequences your actions may have on others.  After all, man was not created by a sovereign God.  Man is merely a mechanistic animal that has evolved to his current state of being.  Therefore, one must listen to his/her inner voice to find out what he/she wants or needs to do.  Of course, it is all about being what makes you happy.

When I read this, I immediately thought of today’s popular slogan Just Do You! This phrase is defined as, Be yourself and stop worrying about others. There is even a song titled Just Be You.  Here are the lyrics to this song by India Arie (it sounds a lot like what Oprah says we should all do).

I heard a voice that told me I’m essential
How all my fears are limiting my potential
Said it’s time to step into the light and
Use every bit of the power I have inside and
So what’chu waiting on
Who you waiting for
If you don’t take a chance you’ll never know whats in store
Just do you (somebody’s got to be your star)
Just do you (somebody’s got to raise the bar)
Just do you (somebody’s got to change the game)
Just do you (today)
Every mountain needs someone to climb it
Every ocean needs someone to dive in
Every dream needs someone to wish it
Every adventure needs someone to live it
So what’chu waiting on
Who you waiting for
If you don’t take a chance you’ll never know whats in store
If you create the game then you create the rules
And if you just be you
There’s no way you can lose
There’s a story waiting for you to write it
There’s a treasure waiting for you to find it
There’s a picture waiting for you to paint it
There’s a dollar waiting for you to make it
So what’chu waiting on
Who you waiting for
If you don’t take a chance you’ll never know whats in store
If you create the game then you create the rules
And if you just be you
There’s no way you can lose
There is a voice inside each of us.  The Bible refers to it as one’s heart.  Another way of saying just do you is follow your heart.  The problem
with this type of thinking is my heart, according to God’s Word, is desperately wicked.  It will definitely tell me what I want to hear and what I want in life — but if I get what my heart wants, it will only bring heartache to me and to others.
One of the things I noticed in the comments that were made on a music video of India singing this song was that several of the people said that they had first heard the lyrics while in elementary school.  In fact several comments mentioned how this song was one of their teacher’s favorite songs.  The theme of secular education is Just Do You and when you do you can Live Your Truth!
However, there is only one truth and that is God’s truth.  We need to Live God’s Truth!  That will change your life!
Glen Schultz

Author Glen Schultz

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Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Rick Yost says:

    The possible implications of this are startling………..and we, as you say, Brother, are seeing it played out in front of us every day. One of the most damaging implications is how this burns down God’s design of us being created for relationship. If I want to be happy and who my heart tells me to be runs afoul of who my wife’s heart tells her to be, then the only reasonable outcome is for me to find someone else whose inner self aligns with mine. Also holds true for what happens in a teacher/student relationship……….I don’t have to do (or believe) what the person in authority over me says to do because our truths are misaligned………..I have no choice but to resist and rebel.
    So…………..praise God we STILL have [almost completely] unfettered freedom to teach absolute truth!! What a privilege, and what a responsibility we have!!!!

  • Brilliantly stated, Glen. Spot on.

  • Mark Kennedy says:

    The idea of designer truth, tailor made to fit each individual’s tastes is common enough in the Christian community too, even in Christian school leadership. Too easily we accept popular business mantras like “perception is reality” as if it were a newly discovered verse of Scripture. But it is just another falsehood in keeping with the “find your own truth” theme. There is only one reality and it’s not defined by our often faulty perceptions. And, as you say Glen, “there is only one truth and that is God’s truth. We need to Live God’s Truth! That will change your life!”

  • Pauline Hansen says:

    Thank you for sharing. We are battling a Man-centered culture in our schools.
    God is the giver of life and every breath we take. He directs our path and knows the plan He has for us.

  • Blair Bryant says:

    Thank you Glenn.
    He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We need to know Him. We need to teach the Truth, and we need to let Him live His life through us.
    The focus on self and feelings, the idea that my voice needs to be heard, all of these things that are being taught to children cause them to believe they are the center, that it is all about them.
    He is the Lord.
    We need to seek Him.
    His is the voice we should be listening to, through the study of His Word.
    God bless you,