With today's always-on media, there's an ever-present temptation to compare yourself to someone else. You swipe in envy of someone else's success and believe that their style, personality or gifting will achieve the same for you. That is, until you see come across another whose secret sauce is different. Consequently, you're only left confused from bouncing from one "gimmick" to the next, somehow strangely believing that being someone else will help you find yourself.
I've been caught up in this trap myself. As a young minister discovering my voice and message, sadly, I've too often looked at other preachers as case studies to examine. In these moments, any podcast I listened to or conference I attended was spiritually worthless because I only focused on what the communicator had or did that I didn't. Over time, I was left with all kinds of conflicting notes: "I need to be funnier; I need to use more props; I need to tell more stories; I need to have signs and wonders." Obviously, I couldn't incorporate all of these into my preaching without looking like a circus act.
Your Greatest Gift from God
Eventually, God revealed something to me that I really needed to do. I needed to be OK with being me. "Yes, other people can do certain things better than you," I felt Him whisper. "But there are also things you can do better than they can." Then He continued with this: "You have a personality, style and story to reach people others can't. Use the gift of you."
Have you ever thought about that? The greatest gift God has given you is, well, you. Sure, each of us have aspects of our innate nature and personality that need to be surrendered to God's consuming fire. But all throughout, the Bible gives evidence that God planned our features for a purpose.
To the prophet Jeremiah, God encouraged: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you" (Jer. 1:5). In the Psalms, David praised God for being "made with fear and wonder" (Ps. 139:14). The apostle Paul boasted that we each are God's masterpiece, created for a good plan (see Eph. 2:10).
Be the Person God Had in Mind
Hear this: God had you in mind and created you before your parents ever conceived you. Like a potter's hand to clay, God crafted you with great care, from the inside out. He didn't overlook a single detail. Your eye color, the shape of your nose, the color of your skin, whether you'd be an introvert or an extrovert—none of it was an afterthought, but it was all meticulously chosen by your heavenly Father. Yes, God gave you a style and story to do to something and reach people that others can't with theirs.
The world doesn't need an imitation of someone else. The world needs you being uniquely you. So today, ask God to help you be the person He had in mind when He designed you.
Kyle Winkler (kylewinkler.org) is the creator of the popular Shut Up, Devil! mobile app. His latest book is Activating the Power of God's Word: 16 Strategic Declarations to Transform Your Life. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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