I have 7 little ones in my care right now. 7 tiny people with 7 big personalities. 7 sets of strengths and weaknesses, different ways of celebrating life and bringing joy to those around them. 7 different sets of annoying habits, unique needs and weak areas. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Imagine a house full of 3 yr olds with the same personality… sounds exhausting to me. The truth is, I see something incredibly special happen when the diverse characters come together on common ground. When they bend to help a friend, when they celebrate someone else’s victory. When their strength is on display and they step up with confidence to teach their friends what comes so easily for them.
And isn’t this the Kingdom? Each hand and foot in it’s own place, serving the others. That’s all well and good, common Christian-ese if you will. We’re comfortable with that metaphor from 1 Corinthians 12, but sometimes it’s the scripture pieces we’re most comfortable with that are the easiest to dismiss. Let’s not skip the basics of this one. For a foot to be a foot, it has to know it’s a foot. If the foot thinks it’s an ear, it’s not going to be very useful as a foot. If the foot thinks it’s an appendix, with no use or function in the body, it’s not going to help the body walk like it was meant to.
What you think about yourself is some of the most important thoughts you will ever have. Your identity, your calling, your destiny are lived inside out. Don’t wait for circumstances or other people to tell you who you are. You need to crawl into your Daddy’s lap – the One who created you and knows you more fully than anyone on earth every will. He gets to define you, to identify you, to call you. All of these things flow out of intimacy with the Father.
In our society we are big fans of consistency. We love predictability, we love knowing that no matter which country we walk into a McDonalds in, we can order a Big Mac and it will always taste the same. But this Father of ours, He’s a creative God. He loves colour, He loves variety, He loves beauty. He’s made each of us with a different voice, a unique piece of His love revealed in flesh and bones.
What if the very thing that is weird about you, is the place where God shines brightest through you? What if you’re not meant to be an echo of someone who’s gone before, and instead to be a unique expression of the love of God? Instead of conforming to those around you, embrace the unique identity God is whispering over you. Say yes to His cry of beautiful diversity over your life. Say yes to God’s truth about your identity, and the enemy will no longer have an opportunity to steal it. When we’re secure with whose we are, we get to shine as who we are.
Once you’ve heard from your Father about your identity, you are free to embrace the different personalities around you. It is completely possible to celebrate what you’re not, while valuing what you are. Remember that you, Beloved, are not an appendix.