Should Christians Adopt the Phrase, “You Do You”?

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. – 2 Corinthians 4:4

For to me to live is Christ. – Philippians 1:21a


You do you has become oft-used phrase that seems to mean, “be yourself,” or, “be true to who you are.”

In one sense, that philosophy seems harmless, even good. For example, I wouldn’t want my children to put on a façade of any sort, just to please my husband or me.

Instead, I want them to be the individuals that God created them to be. I want them to fulfill their potential through his power, grace, and strength.

But…would I ever say to them, “You do you”?

I dunno about that.

Too often, when I’ve heard the phrase tossed around social media, it seems to excuse the viewer or listener from a moral obligation or responsibility. For example, one of the YouTubers I watch regularly explained his ideas about intermittent fasting and a healthful diet, followed by, “…but you do you.” As in, “Find what works for you, and you’ll be just fine.”

I’ve heard others say that they believe they shouldn’t overindulge in alcohol, followed by, “but that’s just what I believe. You do you.”

Really?

Are we so afraid to stand up for heartfelt beliefs, or even moral absolutes, that we live in a state of over-tolerance?

Why do we feel we must denigrate our worldview by tacking on a phrase like, “…but you do you”?

In such a situation, I would never use that phrase.

I don’t believe that people should do whatever pleases them, or that they should base their life’s philosophy on whatever feels right to them.

I don’t believe those ideas, because the Bible says otherwise; and as a Christian, I base my worldview on Scripture alone.

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While it may be difficult for some to accept, God’s Word is full of black-and-white. Certain things are always right. Certain things are always wrong.

There is only one way to heaven, not many.

There is only one true God.

On the other hand, while I don’t believe I should excuse or encourage others to live in a way I know to be wrong, I also don’t believe I should beat them over the head with the truth of God’s Word.

I get excited when someone curious about Christianity asks me what I believe, and why. It provides me an opportunity to share my beliefs warmly and openly, without belittling the other person and his beliefs.

As in everything, I want to be like Christ, who was always masterfully compassionate, yet completely honest.


Have you ever thought about the phrase, “you do you”? Do you think our society is too tolerant? I welcome your comments.


Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. – Ephesians 4:13-15


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37 thoughts on “Should Christians Adopt the Phrase, “You Do You”?”

  1. “You do you” is a blatant disregard for the truth. And yes, as you have correctly said, God has set His truth in black and white terms. This is something mankind has always balked at (see Adam and Eve in the Garden). Today, in our ever more tolerant world, well-meaning folks extend the lie of you be you, meaning there is no concrete truth about anything. Rationalized behavior will ultimately come in direct conflict with God’s truth. The pain of this being God’s absolute truth is meant for our well-being and protection.
    Thank you for sharing this excellent post,
    Pastor Chuck

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A couple of things. First is a paraphrase from John Paul II, who described true freedom as the desire to choose the Good, meaning the path of God. Secondly, “you do you” works ONLY if we strive to be the best version of ourselves, the unique, loving, God-fearing creation the Divine Creator means for us to be. Choosing any other course leaves us empty and unfulfilled. — Mike

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually have never heard the phrase before… Then again I’m not really on social media much. But I agree. No one seems willing to stand up for anything these days, but when they do it’s often with a blatant spirit of disrespect. I still wish we could respectfully stand up for truth. I strive to learn how to do this and while I’m learning ever so slowly, I really hope my kids catch on as well!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not on social media much, either – no Twitter account, hardly ever on Facebook. But I do watch my share of YouTube, and that’s where I began to hear the phrase a lot. Heather, you make an excellent point that when people stand up for what they believe it, they do it disrespectfully, and they give a bad name to others who believe the same way. Amen to the idea of standing up for our beliefs in a respectful manner!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny how the meanings of things change. But maybe it is the plan of all things evil in the world. Just like people believe the Bible was for back then, and that times have changed. Reading the Bible teaches me that we certainly haven’t changed much since it was written. That is for sure. But back to my point, when I was young “you do you” meant mind your own business and stay out of mine. It wasn’t a compliment or an expression of approval but more of an insult. Shows that not only people changing the Bibles stories to accommodate/accept “todays living” but it turns other things into “todays living” too.

    Now that I am really off topic let’s get back to the topic of your post. 🙂 🙂 I too feel that I shouldn’t beat people over the head with the Bible. I have seen it too many times, and it usually sends the other person running. It also doesn’t encourage the person to feel “loved” enough to engage in more curiosity about the LORD. I always feel when someone is curious about the LORD that the LORD has put them in front of me for a reason. To love them, to show them how much I feel loved, and they will want that for themselves. To plant a seed. Maybe water it a bit. But not plant it, drown it in water, and harvest it. I feel that is what God wants me to do, share the gospel. Not preach, condemn, chastise, or scare them to death. They should walk away wanting THAT love, not discouraged, baffled, or defensive.

    That is not to say condone what they are doing, but I’m not suppose to judge them either, right? What I should have is the faith that God put them in front of me for a reason. And have enough faith in Him to not worry for what I will say, and let His Spirit do the talking.

    Hahaha sooorrrry for the long comment. Maybe I should have just went with the previous paragragh and left it with that 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Margaret, I was smiling and nodding as I read your comment. Thanks SO very much for taking the time to explain your thoughts and feelings, all of which I agree with. My kids and I were just talking the other day about making a point to engage people we meet and take a genuine interest in them, so that when we give them a tract or share the gospel in another way, they will be open to it. No one wants to be put down or condemned – the Holy Spirit will convict a person as needed when the time is right, after he is saved. But we want to do all we can to see that people do get saved!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t heard this phrase, but as Christians…”He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30. Hopefully, if my eyes are on Jesus, there should be such a little bit of me that I can’t “do me” because, by God’s grace I’m aim to be busy “doing Jesus.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am not sure I have heard that one. But, it fits with other phrases I have heard and the general philosophy regarding the gospel of our salvation in today’s world. We do live in a very “me” focused culture, which is permeating the church, too. So many people have an entitlement attitude about life. Too many young people especially not learning respect for their elders. Too much entertainment or feeling that one has to be entertained all their spare hours. Yes, too many people afraid to take a stand, but that is being pushed in the church, too, with the “stay in your own lane” push which says don’t make waves and don’t offend anyone with the truth. Hey, even back in the early 80’s I was being criticized for saying “The Lord showed me,” and was told I was supposed to say it in a way as though it was just my opinion, but it wasn’t my opinion. It was the Word of God. It was not one of those passages up for debate. So, this has been coming for a while now. The church in our culture has gradually been moving away from the scriptures to the culture of the society and adopting the ways of man instead of the ways of God. And, so many are being taught today that they don’t have to repent or obey God.

    Thank you, Meredith, for what you wrote here. It was very passionate, which was a good thing. You said some really important things that need to be said, and you presented us with some good questions and thoughts. Yes, we need to stand on the truth, speak it in love, and not compromise with the world. And, we need to be who God wants us to be, not who our flesh wants us to be.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. So, a couple of times lately my notifications have shown me that I liked my own comments when I didn’t do that. And it is showing that I liked my own comment to you. I didn’t do that. Have you ever experienced that?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with what you said, and I also agree with Margaret that that phrase can have more than one meaning. I would not want to use it as an insult, and neither would I want to use it to encourage someone else to live in sin, as you so ably explained. If I would ever consider using it, it would be as a sort of defense, if someone else is hammering me with their critical spirit, say, for not being as energetic as they are, or for not potty training my child as early as they did, or doing things other things as a mom their way, etc. God did make us as individuals, with gifts for each that are not the same as everyone else’s. He does expect us to serve Him as He called us and equipped us to serve, and we answer to Him, not someone who is insisting that we have to do it their way. So in THAT sense, God actually calls us to do us (be ourselves) and not someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

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