Being Different

By:  Staci Stallings

Yesterday I taught Sunday School again.  Due to some weird shift of the universe, I am just now getting to the Source/Resource lessons that I usually cover in the first couple of weeks.  One of the ways we jump into that is with the story, “You are Special” by Max Lucado.

In that story, the little wooden Wemmick, Punchinello learns that other Wemmicks don’t have the power to give him stars or dots unless he lets them have that power–only Eli, the woodcarver can say if he is good enough… and Eli never makes mistakes.  Of course, we all need to start going to Eli (God) who made us rather than panting after the approval of our fellow Wemmicks.  They cannot give us what we most crave, a sense of “I’m good enough just like I am,” a sense that “I am loved and accepted.”  Instead, we spend our lives trying to prove we are good enough to be accepted and failing miserably.

I asked the kids about why God loves each of us even if we don’t always perform smashingly great.  They said that we all have talents, but because we’re different, we think sometimes that we’re not as good.  But, they continued, it’s okay to be different because that’s who God made you to be.  (I have VERY smart kids this year!)

Later last night, I watched a movie with my kids.  The movie had a great message of being who you are even if you’re different, even if you don’t fit in.  There was a quote in the movie I really loved.  “Sometimes being different is what makes us great.”

I think we often look around and compare ourselves to others.  The problem is, we compare our cons to their pros.  Like me.  I can’t cook.  Okay, I can, but I don’t like to, and I’ve not had a lot of practice to get very good at it.  However, I can write.  Now what happens with me a lot of times is that I compare my con, not being able to cook, with someone else’s pro–they can.  And I come out wanting.  Rather than seeing that I have my own unique talents and gifts, I too often beat myself up for not having what someone else does.

Further, the talents that I do have, I often put down when talking with others.  Like, for example, I can sit down as I’m doing now and just type out my thoughts.  I don’t usually do a lot of editing to these articles–a word here, a comma there, but mostly you read them about the way I write them.  In a lot of ways I realize that’s weird.  It’s not normal to be able to sit down and think into your fingers.  But it’s a skill I have learned and practiced and honed to the point that I can.

That’s “different.”  And I could be upset by that and hide it and hope no one realized I could do that (which I’ve been known to do).  Or I can realize that it is a talent that God gave me and something He gave me to help out His Kingdom.

It’s such a different mentality when I think of Him giving me that talent versus trying not to let anyone think I’m weird or different.

So what are your “differences”?  Think for a little while today about why God gave you those things and how He might be calling you to use them in His Kingdom.  Trust me, they were not given to you randomly.  They, and you, have a purpose.  His purpose.

And your differences might be just the things that make you great!

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