The Uniqueness of You
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So much of our life feels pretty unimportant, composed of activity that is seemingly insignificant. Folding clothes, writing papers, paying bills, watching Seinfeld reruns, eating dinner. Repeat. But don’t let the simplicity of life fool you. You are so close to the details that it can be difficult to get perspective, but you are a part of a much larger story. You matter more than you know…
You were made in the image of God. That’s right, made. You are not smart mud or a monkey wearing pants. God made you. Fearfully, wonderfully, he knit you together inside your mother. You’re no accident. Out of all creation, God made humans, male and female, to be like him. And as his image-bearer, you possess a gift no animal was given—self-awareness. You have free will. You are not a robot or a puppet.
Like God, you have a personality. A sense of humor. You can laugh and sing, make love and create, dream, and destroy. You have feelings and can be hurt. When things don’t go our way, we get sad and can be grieved, just like God. This might surprise you, but God doesn’t always get what he wants, and neither do we. Jesus knocks at the doors of our hearts, and we have to invite him inside in order to be saved. ... He gives us the dignity and responsibility of making our own decisions.
You are also immortal. The question is not whether you will live forever, but where. Four hundred years from now, and four thousand years after that, you will still exist—you will still be alive, and you will still be you.
Then there is the matter of what God was willing to spend to redeem you and give you hope, when sin and death had their suffocating stranglehold on your life. The value of something comes from what someone is willing to pay to have it. And boy, were you expensive. The Bible says that while we were dead in our sins, God demonstrated his love for us by sending his Son to die for us.1 You weren’t purchased with any common currency, like gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Jesus…
That’s not all. As a child of God you have been entrusted with the Holy Spirit. … Oh, and you have also been tasked with the greatest mission that has ever been undertaken in the history of the world—the Great Commission, a mission to go fishing. The orders from your commanding officer are pretty clear: go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
You, my friend, were put on this earth to make waves, disrupt the status quo, and kick over some apple-carts. The apostle Peter said that you are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,” God’s “own special people” that he brought “out of darkness into his marvelous light” so you might proclaim his praises.2—Levi Lusko
Your DNA matters
Consider this: the body—the face, the features, the coloring—contains marks that identify us as individuals. These marks arise from our DNA and make us recognizable to the naked eye. But they provide more than a point of recognition for the sake of others; they are God’s imprint on each of us. These few features have seemingly infinite possibilities when rearranged in different shapes and sizes. And how often each of us vents and complains to God, either implicitly or explicitly, wanting a better personal design: “If only I had a stronger back to do what I need to do!” “If only I had a more powerful voice that would convey authority!”
Even those we regard as heroes of the faith have not escaped such thoughts. In the Old Testament, God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but Moses kept coming up with all kinds of excuses for why he was a poor choice. To Moses’ observation that he was “slow of speech and tongue,” God said, “Who gave man his mouth?” in effect asking, “Who made your mouth, Moses?”3 Granted, God designed the question to remind Moses that since God had made his mouth, God could use it as he saw fit; but the point is well taken. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Every time we make something artificial to duplicate what we have or had naturally, we once more recognize the intricate nature of the design, even with its weaknesses.
To be able to accept the wonder and the marvel of one’s own personality, however flawed or “accidental,” and place it in and trust it to the hands of the One who made it, is one of the greatest achievements in life. His “registration number” is on you. Your DNA matters because the essence of who you are matters and whose you are by design matters. Every little feature or “accident” of your personality matters. Consider it God’s sovereign imprint on you.
The often-heard comment “a face only a mother could love” reflects more fact than cynicism. God loves you as one who loves his own offspring. Your face is unique because your DNA is unique. When you finally meet the One who made you and examine the lifelines he has sent you along the way, you will at last understand how every detail made sense in the swirling reality of life’s blessings and threats. They will speak of God’s transcending love for you.—Ravi Zacharias4
In order to be yourself around others, you have to know who “you” are and be comfortable with it. Your opinion of yourself affects all your relationships—your relationship with God as well as with other people. When you are yourself, you’re at peace with whom God has made you to be—with the appearance, skills, personality, strengths, and weaknesses that you’ve been given, and you’re at peace with your life—what you’ve been through and where you are today. As Paul put it in Philippians 4:11, it’s a state of contentment, regardless of your situation or feelings or anything.
The apostle Peter at one time compared himself to another disciple. John 21:20–22 says, “Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.’”5 Jesus was saying that it’s pointless to compare ourselves with others, when all that should really matter is our relationship with Him.
Instead of comparing yourself with others, focus on valuing yourself because God values you. Remind yourself that God paid careful attention when He created you and He loves you just the way you are. You are a unique individual; there is no one else in the world just like you. You have been specifically designed by God to be someone special in this world. Celebrate that specialness!
As you learn to accept the wonderful, unique individual that God has created you to be, you will become at peace with who you are. And that peace and contentment will not only have a positive effect on you, but on others as well.—Dan Roselle
Published on Anchor May 2018. Read by Jerry Paladino. Music by John Listen.
1 Romans 5:8.
2 1 Peter 2:9.
3 See Exodus 4:10–11.
4 Ravi Zacharias, The Grand Weaver (Zondervan, 2007).