Made to be Different
Spring is one of my favorite seasons of the year. Despite the need for significant antihistamines, I still enjoy talking walks and experiencing the beauty of blooming flowers. On Easter Sunday, my family and I had the chance to walk through an amazing park with so many beautiful flowers. One bush caught my attention because of one dark pink flower surrounded by an unlimited number of light pink flowers. It was indeed an anomaly. It stood out and its unique difference made it even more captivating.
In a world that loves uniformity, it’s very easy to conform to become just like everyone else. There is this constant desire to fit in, to be accepted and even fly under the radar not to generate attention. With the exception of a few celebrities, most people become targets for standing out. We are taught from an early age to behave, dress, and think a certain way. When we do not comply with the standard, the consequences can result in being talked about, made fun of, isolated or even bullied.
We conform because we do not want to be seen in a bad light. We want to be liked and if we feel as if our opinion goes against that of the group, for many, we are not willing to suffer the backlash that could result because of alternative points of view.
Conformity isn’t always bad. It is problematic when we hide who we are and who we were created to be in order to receive acceptance especially from those who do not matter. When we blend in like everyone else, our uniqueness is diminished. In Romans 12:2, our focus should be on pleasing God: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Addressing conformity requires a change in the way we think and focusing on God’s will for our lives first. To fight this need, we must practice constantly checking our thoughts to determine if our actions are to seek approval from others.
We are called to be different, to stand out. 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
What makes you different? Are striving to be what God designed and destined you to be or are you more concerned with fitting in so that others are not uncomfortable by your presence? Are you losing your flavor to fit?
I hope this week you make it a habit to allow your light to shine bright. I hope that you are willing to blossom into the beautiful flower that you were created to be. I hope that you are determined to stand out in a sea of conformity radiating God’s purpose for your life. I pray that you will stand rooted in the knowledge that you were made to be different, that you were made to shine bright even if you are the only one.
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