B-U – Be Unique
Have you ever wished you were someone else? As kids we always liked to play games that allowed us to be someone else. I remember, getting on my bike and riding around the neighborhood with my fake guns, pretending I was a cop, or a robber, depending on how I felt that day. Have you ever grabbed a wad of paper, and started the countdown, as if there were only a few seconds left on the clock, and you had the basketball, and were down by one? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a king or a queen? Have you ever pretended to be a superhero? No doubt you may have tried to imagine what it would be like to be a celebrity, a sports star, or a famous person.
Many times we even have become consumed with wanting to be someone around us. “If only I had the clothes that they had…” “If only I could play sports; or a musical instrument like them…” “If only I could sing like they do…” “If only I could be as friendly; or as funny as they are…” “If only I looked like them…”
It seems like being someone else would make life easier. I could really make a difference in the world. I could change lives. I could affect my school. We can become so side tracked trying to be someone else that we miss the power of just being comfortable in our own skin.
I am amazed that Jesus did not make His disciples fit a mold. He did not require them to take a quiz, get sized, or run sprints. He did not ask for a bank statement or a resume. He pretty much took them as they were. Without exception, each disciple had his own backdrop with which he had lived. Some were tax collectors, who were analytical. Some were fishermen, who loved to be outdoors. Some were revolutionaries who had very outgoing personalities, and some were quiet. Peter sometimes got angry, and John was usually kind. Each disciple struggled with selfishness. Jesus still picked them to be His disciples. He was very comfortable with the fact they were all unique. They each had come from different places, had differences of opinion, and had different talents, yet each was valued by Jesus as highly important to the work and will of God.
The disciples serve as examples of how Jesus Christ wants to use our lives. However unworthy or undeserving we may feel, no matter how unqualified or uncommon we may seem, God still wants to use our lives for His glory. He is very comfortable with who we are. He chose you knowing your inadequacies. He thinks its okay that you are shy, He thinks its great that you are crazy and obnoxious, He thinks its perfect that you can’t sing very well, and He loves it when you play a beautiful song for Him (even if it is on the radio). God is not threatened by what you’re not, because one of God’s greatest past times is taking nothing and making it something.
Not only do we try and change who we are, sometimes our identity seems to be stolen from us. Tragedy, abuse and family struggle can cause us to hate who we are. So we do everything we can to hide or mask what we think is flawed or painful, and in doing so we lose ourselves. We don’t know who we are or who we are supposed to be.
It is this struggle that makes your authenticity that much more valuable to God. It is these difficulties that sometimes end up helping the people around us the most. Paul wrote, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (II Corinthians 12:9).
Your ability to really make an impact with those around you requires you to be authentic. That is not to say that you shouldn’t try to improve yourself through education and discipline. But we must have confidence that we don’t have to try and be someone else for God to use us. God uses our uniqueness to accomplish His work. Just as a puzzle is not possible if all the pieces are the same, so the church cannot function the way God intended unless each member functions as God made them. Paul said to the Corinthians that “the body does not consist of one member, but many” (I Corinthians 12:14). He would go on to say that “each of you are individuals in that body” (I Corinthians 12:27).
Someone else will not work. God wants you to be you; your talent, your personality, your perspective, your influence, your friends, and your connections. Don’t try to be anyone else but you. Be Unique.