Seattle — Day 33: Beautiful Design
Reflections — I found myself today reflecting on this simple truth. Christ has made us all unique and different from one another, even if there my be few, or many similarities. That no matter who you pair up with, from this life, past, or in generations to come, there will never be someone exactly like you in every single manner. Now make no mistake, there will always be people that you are compared to, just due to similarities. Oh you both play guitar! You’re so alike. or Oh, you both look so alike. Yeah they’re like one in the same. But let’s remember that even for every bodily part, though they may look alike in appearance, they same are not. Think of fingers. Your pinky finger can look like your thumb in appearance, but they’re different, in both utility and function. Even on a cellular level, your body has tons of different cells that work on different things, and have different purposes, though we may see them all as the same at times. They stunningly have even different shapes and sizes! So when Christ talks about us as the body of Christ (Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 12), He’s not just talking about difference in appearance, but complete validity in the fact we have different functions and purposes, talents and skills, dreams and visions, that are and will be used in collaboration together for the glory of God.
“If you were meant to be like another person, Christ wouldn’t have made you in the first place. For He has constructed each soul uniquely, for His divine purpose.” — C.S. Lewis
I find this incredible. He made you uniquely so that you could live the security that He has divine purpose through you for His Kingdom and simply just for you as well. The very fact in that He made you shows that He cares about you, about what you’re passionate about, sees your heart, and knows you for who you are. The fact that we’re alive shows that there is still purpose for us here on Earth (Ecclesiastes 3).
In the fact that I, nor you, was made to be like anyone else. You weren’t meant to have the lifestyle habits of your roommate, or the dreams of your pastor, or the same talents as that amazing singer at church, or the same intellectual understanding as that super genius you continue to compare yourself to as you study. You were never suppose to look like that brother, or have the financial background as that rich celebrity, or the lifestyle of that person you see. No, you were meant and still are, meant to be person Christ made you to be, and envisions you to become. That in all the difference that you have, the random dreams you get, the way you think, is all to the glory of God, and for the purpose of His will. The way you speak, your intonations, the way you walk, how you look, how you listen, and so much more, all of these things are unique to you as a person. And the more incredible truth behind all this is that though there is immense security in this, there is greater security and hope in that Christ is calling is in our uniqueness, to be in unity — to seek, to long, to know who Jesus is and to become more and more like Him.
The amazing reality is that we have been made in the likeness of Christ (Genesis 1), yet that means that we were created to exemplify and embody the very image, characteristics of Christ, His uniqueness being one of them. I found this truth fascinating. We get to share in partiality the gift of being different from people surrounding us. There will never be another person is you, and never was another person that was you. From background, historical surroundings, upbringing, mental makeup, education, emotional state, physical appearance, etc, there are millions of factors that must be lined up in order for another person to be just like you, and its astounding that we find ourselves living in this world. Where even though someone can appear to be like us, whether in dreams, talents, appearance, and even voice tone, that there is immense uniqueness given to us from the trait of Christ’s own distinctive nature.
“There is none like you, O LORD, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.” — 1 Chronicles 17:20
So I want to encourage you, as I’ve been reflecting on this word for myself first throughout the day. Stop trying to be like other people. This doesn’t mean stop trying to imitate Christ in those that you see imitating Christ. This is a good thing to do, and a very biblical thing to do. “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Please keep pursuing and striving to have the character, integrity, passion and discipline (Romans 12) like the Godly women and men surrounding you, for the aspects of Christ that we strive for are all in the same, Christ as a whole. But rather, what I want to encourage you in is to stop trying to simply be the person that you struggle so much comparing yourself to, or even the multiple people you compare yourself to. That the mentality of I’ll just take this one aspect, and this other aspect etc, is eating you up to lose joy for the person that Christ made and intends for you to be. I tell this to my disciples and brothers all the time. Imitate me as I imitate Christ, but don’t strive to be me. You don’t want to be me. You want to be greater than me. You want to be like Jesus.
I say this because I struggled a lot with this growing up. I was a lonely kid, so I thought that getting friends meant being like those in the friend group that I wanted to be apart of, any friend group or rather. So I would not only imitate people surrounding me, but I would try to be them, and at times, multiple people at once. It’s why I skating during middle school, played basketball throughout, and even went to church to be honest. There was always someone to be, and it was never me. I wasn’t satisfied with who I was. Heck, I didn’t even like my own middle name, Bansuk. Yet, the Lord came and changed my heart as He began healing my heart, and I began to see the merit, no the necessity, of loving who Christ made you to be. A sinner. Broken, yet whole in the Saviour’s arms.
There is security that is found in the fact that we are unique. Please remember and know this truth. Reinforce it. Christ died for you, uniquely. Grace is shown in the fact that you aren’t even like anyone else in this world. He could’ve made you exactly the same as another person, and maybe that’s sometimes what you wish. But like CS Lewis said, then He wouldn’t have had a purpose in making you at all then. So where does this leave us?
In our diversity, we must come together to be the bride of Christ that He has called us to be. We’re called to be a body, one with many parts, differing functions, varying talents, unique in dreams, and even at times, separated in theology; however, wholly put together to maintain and attain greater unity given to us by the blood of the Lamb. You weren’t made distinctively so that you could strive in this independence mindset of it’s all about me, and who unique I am. Honestly, society has been so perverted by this conceited hyper active individualism. I need to be different, so I’m going to do these things. I’m going to set myself apart. Even in the church, we find people striving to be different, and focusing so much on making themselves apart from those surrounding them, that they’re building up their own names and kingdoms, unfortunately with sand instead of rocks. For you see, you were never meant to boast in your own distinctiveness. But rather, use it, thrive in it for the glory of God, that there might be greater praise and worship given to Him through it. It was never meant to be just about you.
I want to encourage you to watch this video (only 45 seconds long) that really depicts the conclusion that I’m trying to draw from my thoughts today. You in your uniqueness, in every single manner of it, is suppose to give God the Creator praise in His Beautiful Design.
So church, can we do this together? Can we stop trying to play our own single noted tunes, and just work together in harmony? Let’s encourage one another in our differences, edify the body in helping each other flourish and grow in talents, and strive to be the collective body that He has called us to be. We have validity and assurance in this calling because of Christ sending His own son for us. How even in His own complete distinctiveness, from all others, that He would come and share in the weakness of man, so that He could come to unify the church through his sacrifice. For you, and I, in our remarkable singularity was never meant to be the end of His means, but instead, a mere stepping stone to highlight the good news, the name of Jesus, and what He has done for us. His magnificence.
Humble — Audrey Assad
Humble and Human, willing to bend You are
Fashioned of flesh and the fire of life, You are
Not to proud to wear our skin
To know this weary world we’re in
Humble, humble Jesus
Humble in sorrow, You gladly carried Your cross
Never refusing Your life to the weakest of us
Not too proud to bear our sin
To feel this brokenness we’re in
Humble, humble Jesus
Humble in greatness, born in the likeness of man
Name above all names, holding our world in Your hands
Not too proud to dwell with us, to live in us, to die for us
Humble, humble Jesus
We bow our knees
We must decrease
You must increase
We lift You high
We’re in this race together. Therefore, we run together, cry together, suffer together, rejoice together, live together, and even together. All for the sake of Christ we do these things, and His blood has unified us in mind accordingly, in faith. I want to be like this and to live like this. I want to stop focusing so much on me, me, me, but to turn and see how I can be used for Him, Him, Him. I want my distinctive to not build up my own kingdom, but to build His, to prepare His way, and not my own. Please pray for me that I would see the value of community, and surpassing worth of a collective, unified bride, and to therefore, strive and live accordingly to these convictions. Thank you.