Have you ever been told that you, or something about you, is unique? Often times this particular word is seems to be used with an inflection of the voice that leaves us unsure if we have been complimented or insulted.
Simple Definition of unique
—used to say that something or someone is unlike anything or anyone else
: very special or unusual
: belonging to or connected with only one particular thing, place, or personSource: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary
While unique is typically a positive word, it can also be used to describe something as unusual. Why do we view things that are unlike anything else with a negative frame?
This is the struggle of what I would call living a real Christian life in our world today. It is not a new issue, as Jesus was mocked and challenged in his day along with his disciples. Our pains of standing out in the crowd are not original, but they are still difficult. Aside from handling the world around us with gloves of God’s grace, how can we contend with facing our “uniqueness” as Christians? This is not even beginning to address our own personal uniqueness as individuals created in His likeness for specific purposes.
Being a Christian who functions in God’s image in real life today is challenging. We are “unique” when we uphold values set by our Father. In some circles it is encouraging, in others the unique qualities of a Christian are mocked. What makes the Christian what I refer to as a “real, live Christian” is the person’s stance to work for God’s good in a hard world, and maintaining the values that are laid out for us. It should be simple when worded that way, but anyone who has tried to maintain their calm when another person cuts them off in traffic after a long day knows this is not always the case.
Life swallows us up with demands from work, school, family time, church serving, hobbies and other obligations. At times it seems as though we are barely making it to the end of our day, not even glimpsing quality time with God or time in His word. I am guilty of occasionally realizing a full day has nearly passed as I lay down for bed, and begin uttering a last minute prayer stuffed full of all of my thoughts. In these situations, I will drift off to sleep with no idea what I managed to hand over to God or if He had a word I was to hear. That’s life and it does happen, but it is not what we were created for. Christians aren’t perfect because they are people with sin in their hearts, just like everyone else. What makes the difference is knowing what the larger importance is, and what is required of us to justly do God’s works. Holding onto the calling of a Christian, then we can delve into what specifically we are to do in our lives to serve Him.
So I’m going to say it: it is ok to have things about yourself that are different. This is not a new concept, we all know it to be true; yet we may find ourselves dealing with discomfort or even doubt in ourselves when our differences stands out. It may seem that this notion of insecurity speaks to a narrow audience, but fully living out the person God created us to be is an issue for everyone to be conscious of.
After awhile we learn that what matters of the world in our eyes is only a small, insignificant part of the life we were each created for. Time with God in His word is crucial to this understanding as it grounds us on the principles that truly matter in the end. Sure, we have a full life to live here on earth. But eternity with God is a greater calling upon my heart, and promises more than I could ever dream of here.
The vast amount of people in the world and what the Lord calls on our lives demands that we be unique and happy in ourselves. To do as He calls, to aid those who do not know Him and His love, requires specific things of each of us. No one of us will approach the calling the same way and He does not want us to try to be the same way as anyone else. We are all given a divinely created set of unique skills, abilities, perceptions, and experiences that lead us to be whoever He calls us to be.
Breaking away from the ties of the world and the weight it puts on trend or conformity allows us to step away from the haze to see ourselves clearly. We are children of God with a calling to serve those who do not know Him, to share His love. Move away from the thoughts in your head about why you can’t do as called and bask in the realization that He made you unique so you could do as called! Before we were created in our mother’s womb, He had our unique personality and qualities laid out alongside the calling He would place on our lives. How amazing is that! So much forethought and love went into each of us so we could ultimately share love.
Being unique as a person and a Christian is not easy. John 16:33 tells us “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We are not told that it will be easy, simply that it will be worth it because our Savior overcame. It is rewarding, and carries the potential to hear those words we all long to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”