You Be You and I'll Be Me
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
I met her when I was 23 and admired her tremendously. She was always calm, always polite, always sailing slowly and unhurriedly through life. She never raised her voice. She listened more than she talked. She could sit quietly and observe a situation without feeling the need to interject her thoughts or opinions. She was gentle and quiet. She had a multitude of qualities I lacked.
Me? I was seldom calm, easily excitable. Interrupted conversations in my eagerness to share my next thought. Constantly raised my voice in excitement, agitation, or passion. I was just loud. Talked more than I listened. No one would have called me quiet. Constantly moving and doing, full of restless energy. How I really and truly super wanted to be her, but it appeared pretty hopeless. I was stuck with me.
Ever felt like that? Ever noticed someone else’s qualities so different from your own and felt the lack? I’m pretty sure most of us have. Comparing ourselves with others leads to great dissatisfaction. This is not the way it ought to be. Obviously, all of us should desire to be more like Christ. All of us should ask Him to give us the fruit of the Spirit in increasing measure as we draw nearer to Him. But this doesn’t mean we will ever look like someone else. Nor should we. Nope. You and I are one of a kind. Just the way we’re supposed to be.
Ponder this. God made the teeny little hummingbird with wings that move so fast you can’t even see them. Full of energy and vitality, these tiny creatures almost never stop. He also made the graceful swan, who glides unbothered across the water. God created the massive elephant and the swift-footed jaguar. He created peonies and daisies. At least 33 different species of sparrows populate the United States. And that’s just sparrows. The diversity of creation is startling and vast. I think it’s safe to say that God loves variety.
Look how uniquely He created people. Just like no two snowflakes are exactly the same, no two people are. Ephesians 2:10 declares us to be His handiwork. Other translations use words like masterpiece and poems. He considers us pretty special, doesn’t He? He wired us with particular DNA because He likes us that way. How cool to be a “masterpiece”! Notice the way Paul shares further in Ephesians that each of us has specific work to do. Guess what? Our very uniqueness makes us capable of meeting needs that other unique humans can’t. All of us have a place in God’s wonderful kingdom. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
How about this? You just be you. And I’ll be me. Let’s not compare. Instead of wanting to be like others or change others, let’s be content that we have been made the way we are on purpose by a good God. Yes, each of us has areas of weaknesses to work on and strengths to grow, but let’s not try to make the quiet one into a talker. Let her serve in gentle, prayer-filled ways. Let’s not try to make the excitable one quiet. Let her gregariousness seek out the shy one who needs a talker. Let’s not be so quick to judge those unlike ourselves or want to change what God calls “good.” Instead of wishing we were like someone else, or wishing someone else would change, why don’t we celebrate the differences? Why don’t we admire the variety?
Thank You, Father, for the amazing and astounding variation of people, animals, birds, trees, fish, rocks, and so much more that You have placed in this marvelous world. Forgive me when I criticize one of Your creations, whether someone else or myself. Help us all to be more like Jesus. Help us all to celebrate the uniqueness of the ways You have made us. Thank You that each of us comes wired for a purpose in Your kingdom. Oh, Lord, may we fulfill your good purposes, doing the good works You prepared in advance for us to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Originally written and published by Sharon Gamble of Sweet Selah Ministries.