An acquaintance of mine said when she first began her walk with God that she didn’t seem to fit the same mold as the women at church. She was grateful that they were patient with her as she grew more spiritually mature, but still believed she would never be quite like them.
That’s probably a good thing. I’m quite sure that God planned ahead of time for that.
Her remarks got me thinking about my own ability to relate to other Christians. My thoughts turned to trying to figure out why we’re all so different. While a sincere heart change and character growth are what we’re after, I don’t believe God wants cookie cutter Christians.
He wants us to be exactly who we are; what he created us to be. Naturally, if we come to him with severe character defects, his Spirit will work in us to change us into people who exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23).
But God created us with unique talents and personalities. His purpose for us in his redemptive plan means he’ll use those talents and personalities for his own purposes. He refines our personalities, but he doesn’t change them.
For example, the apostle Peter was obviously an impulsive sort of guy. He seemed to act and speak sometimes without thinking first. Jesus even rebuked him for it at one point.
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men'”(Matthew 16:23).
Yet Jesus knew the potential in Peter and chose him to be the “rock” on which the Church would be built. Peter’s impulsiveness was refined into a boldness which was used to preach the Gospel, winning many people to faith in Christ.
Being handpicked for a purpose is true of everyone who chooses to believe and follow Jesus.
Isn’t it great knowing that God can use even your personality to serve the kingdom?
My observations have seen God using people who are shy and people who are bubbly and enthusiastic conversationalists. I watch as both introverts and extroverts take on ministry and glorify God. Some of us are stoic; others more laid back.
I admit there are times when I meet someone whose personality seems to jive perfectly with mine. Still, there are plenty of differences in us to make our individual service unique and to keep the relationship we have refreshing.
God knows that we need the connections of those similarities. He also knows that our world would be boring if we were cut from cookie cutters or poured from the same mold.
That’s why God celebrates that there’s only one you. You can celebrate it as well.