Being part of an elite group can be very attractive. The sense of belonging, being special & set apart appeals to our emotions & sense of significance. Sometimes there can seem to be some good reasons for being exclusive: excellence, comraderie, influence, achieving high goals, etc).
A problem, however, with being exclusive is that it becomes easy to allow the status of the group to influence the way we see ourselves. Sometimes we can think that being part of an exclusive group makes us elite or a cut above “other people.”
Another problem with being exclusive (religious, social, economic, fashion, athletic, etc) is that we can often remove ourselves from connecting with others who are not as elite, don’t achieve as highly, don’t dress in the same fashion, don’t had the same income bracket, aren’t as athletic, or don’t have a similar mental prowess.
The biggest problem with being exclusive is that such a mindset runs entirely contrary to how Jesus taught us to live. In John 13:14-15, Jesus models for us a servant mindset, ready to wash feet & lay down His life for others for the simple & revolutionary goal to express genuine love. Let’s always keep our sites on the end goal to love with a genuine heart & sincere expression!
I have a friend & our feet are always cold, so we give each other wool socks. In Denver today, it’s cold so we are both celebrating our warm feet because of the gracious gift of wool socks! I have another friend who wears flip flops in Denver even when it snows, almost. This friend doesn’t have a cold feet problem but maybe has the opposite end of the spectrum. I totally love both of these peeps & I love that they see and experience life through different lenses, each vibrantly beautiful & wholesome.
This makes me appreciate our Heavenly Father all the more for His immense and unique love for each one of us. We don’t have to match up to a marketing profile to be loved by God. Indeed, it seems to me that we are most thoroughly loved by our Heavenly Father as we revel in His unique design for us individually. Based on Romans 5:5, you are fully loved by your Heavenly Father, full stop. The Holy Spirit can help you live in this reality day by day 🙂
I seriously love to watch people. I love to watch their facial expressions, the way they interact with others, the creative clothing combinations and lots more! I love to see that despite our best efforts to fit in, we each have our distinct individuality – reflections of our infinitely creative Divine Designer. When I listen to people, I hear ideas & perspectives that I’ve never considered before, leaving me sometimes awestruck.
All of this leaves me fully appreciating the reality that we are each fearfully & wonderfully made, in the image of God, valuable far beyond any human estimation or transaction. All of this originates from the fundamental premise that we are unconditionally loved by our Creator.
I have no craft sense, whatsoever, anywhere in me. I can’t cross-stitch, crochet, color, knit, draw, paint, sculpt, tie dye, . . . . . . and I can barely sew on a button & do a hem. I’m not crafty & visiting Hobby Lobby makes me twitch with nervous ticks.
Despite all these deficiencies, I am nonetheless, a result of Divine knitting and weaving as it says in Ps 139:13. This is important for each of us to ingest for lots of reasons:
when we try to look / act like someone else, this is inherently destructive to the unique & divine design given to each one of us
your knitting / weaving together that God has done with you is perhaps one of God’s greatest expressions of love to you – you’re not a clone nor automaton
don’t unravel or unweave the beauty of who you are by running yourself down – remember that the enemy of your soul is also called the accuser of the brethren, so be mindful of who you agree with about your life 🙂
your divine DNA is organized for unique purposes, expressions, celebrations and successes
Whether you’re the knitting type or not, you are wonderfully, fearfully & lovingly made in the image of your Creator 🙂
My daughter tells me that my Birkenstock sandals are back in style, to which I replied, “Never knew they went out of style.” The bigger question for me is that whole style & fashion topic, which feels like jumping in a swimming pool filled with boomslangs, vipers, piranhas, man of war jellyfish & a host of other deadly & creepy creatures. If I started to have any robust conversations about fashion & style, you’d be assured that it’s sanitarium time for me.
On the flip side, I have friends who are fashion / style divas & I think they’re awesome. Here’s why: everyone is fearfully & wonderfully made, unique in perspective & divinely crafted for their existence. Trying to make someone into who they’re not is offensive on human levels & insulting to our Divine Author.
Let’s live in the identity that God has given us & cheer for others who are walking out their divine DNA. Humans clone but God creates – maybe even a few shockers like flying cows & socks with Birkenstocks ,)
Scientists have been working for many years to create clones – sheep, monkeys, birds, etc. When they announced that they had cloned a sheep & named her Dolly, it was considered an amazing scientific achievement.
In my thinking, the whole idea of clones is nothing less than creepy & anti-creation. It only takes a second to look around & see that God digs diversity. Everywhere, all the time there’s creative expression happening & I think that’s crazy cool. What gets me even more excited is when I think about how much God enjoys not only such creative diversity but even more how God has hardwired into creation synergy, unity & teamwork. In Jesus’ last meal with His followers, He prayed no less than 4times that His followers would walk in unity – not clones but unity:
*complementary rather than competing strengths,
*mutual building up,
*improvement through diversity more than division 🙂
I have some home projects that I’ve agreed to work on to get fixed – washer issues, mini-blind stuff & a few more odd jobs. Truth be known, I’m not very good on the home project front so these things kind of get conveniently delayed. There are also some things that I’m working on with personal development, like using my time more efficiently, being more confident, communicating with more grace, etc.
Sometimes in our efforts to improve, we neglect to appreciate the distinct & unique qualities that God has designed in us. Sometimes we wrongly see our distinctions as flaws because we desperately want to fit in & belong. There are some things, however, that God designed in us that are uniquely & beautifully ours. Let’s revel in God’s love for us & be really good at who God has made us to be!! 🙂
My son recently dissected a sheep’s heart & proceeded to tell us about his adventure on the way home from school. I can’t say that I was very enamored with his descriptions, even though he clearly learned alot. He was using words like ventricle, aorta, chamber & some others that I’ve forgotten. He thought that studying the sheep’s heart was cool – a unique look on the inside of how something important works.
How God has designed us on the inside (beyond our biological makeup) is extremely important. Don’t be discouraged when you’re not like someone else – you have a unique heart! Remember that you’re fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139) in the image of your Creator (Gen 1:26) with a wonderfully distinct bend for greatness that no one else has. Let the greatness that God has put inside you be the outside expression of who you really are.
Check this out for some really good stuff about being you!
When I was a teenager, I wanted to fit in & be cool. If I’m honest with you, there are times when I still want to fit in. But alas, I’m unique & from God’s perspective, that’s wonderful! When you look at the world in which we live, it is filled with individuality, distinction & uniqueness. Think about snowflakes, flowers, zebras, clouds, etc.
So if you ever have those insecure moments when you feel like you don’t fit, be sure to turn your thoughts to the immensity & intensity of God’s love for you because you’re really cool!!