Posts Tagged ‘unique’

I was having a conversation with a dear friend the other day, he hadn’t been feeling well for some time and we were trying to figure out what might be going on. I asked about diet (healthy eating) and exercise and after some thought he told me that he ate pretty much like every American and was as active as most people he knows. Our talk veered from there but it’s stuck with me since, here’s why:

Comparing ourselves to others is destructive!

Many of us can see the negative effect of comparing ourselves to the extraordinary as it can be very demotivating. (How could I ever be as good…?) But have you ever thought how harmful comparing yourself to the average is, how detrimental being better than most can be? Can settling for “good enough” keep us from being our best selves? I think it’s obvious it can.

Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting becoming perfectionists, there’s always a balance, besides the vast majority of perfectionists only hold others to their standard, rarely themselves. What we’re exploring here is, How can I be the best me, the me God knows I’m capable of becoming? The answer just may start with being able to put comparisons aside.

Health and wellness are good examples for us; couldn’t we all take better care of ourselves? Another area I’m always thinking about is our relationships, both with God and with each other so here are some questions I’m asking:

Am I pursuing a unique deeply loving relationship with God?

Does my knowing the uniqueness of His love for me cause more compassion and understanding for others?

Do I engage in competitive religious activity keeping score in relation to others? (Isn’t this religion in a nut shell?)

If the answers are yes, yes and no, that’s a great start to being real, being who you are made to be and fulfilling the one thing God has asked.

He loves you like He has loved no other! Comparing yourself to anyone else is fruitless. Nothing can compare to you!

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Are you kidding? You’re amazing! There are countless things about you that are absolutely astonishing. There is no one like you, never has been, never will be. You are exactly who God made you to be just, well, wonderful. Oh sure there are some things about you that are a work in progress but you make  a much bigger deal out of these few things than you should. When you do that it makes it way harder to change and also tends to make you more critical of others shortcomings. It’s easy for me to see how remarkable you are. I want you to know it too.

This article on Casual Christianity in The Washington Post is interesting. I relate to the “joyful minority” thought near the end.

The best things in life are people and the best people are free, truly free. Too often, especially in religious circles (now there’s an interesting term) we become folks who have traded one set of chains for another. We try to conform to other’s ideas of who we should be, how we should act and what we should think at the expense of being real, being ourselves. How can we realize God’s unique love for us when we’re following the crowd?

Don’t Forget

Posted: September 25, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

God loves you like He’s never loved anyone before or will again. You are unique and His greatest desire is to have an extremely intimate one of a kind connection with you. This love, this relationship is the very one your heart desires more than anything. Don’t look for it anywhere else that will do nothing but fail, bring heartache and damage those around you. Trust Him, count on His love for you. With Him you lack nothing.

Religion has deep roots in fear, primarily the fear that we are unloved and that we need to do something about it. This is a lie religion is extremely adept at exploiting, do this and God will love you and then so will we; Oh, you should do this too and then this while thinking this. It reminds me of the scene in The Jerk when Navin is leaving and doesn’t need anything, but…

We all need love as much as we need air and water. It’s a God given necessity put in us so we will seek Him; He’s the only one that can fill our hearts. Religion takes advantage of this need by promising to fulfill it if we will conform to the process established by whatever system we find ourselves in. This can’t work, it may for a season but eventually we come to the realization that there must be more and that’s when too often the answer we’re given is we need more religion. Then on the carousel we go, what option do we have? If we jump off, it is certain we won’t be loved, we’ve seen it. The fear of rejection keeps us right where religion wants us.

We’ll do anything for love, it’s sad that includes settling for a counterfeit of the amazing unique love Jesus came to show us.

Luke 9:46 Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest.

What if Jesus’ love for each of the disciples was so unique, so wonderfully personal they couldn’t imagine how He could love another more?

His love for you is just as special as the love He has for Peter, James, John and the rest. Jesus doesn’t love anyone more than He loves anyone else however His love for each of us is one of a kind and shouldn’t be compared. There are no limits to the freedom we get when we realize the simplicity of this. There is always more of Him for us to know without having to lessen what He has for others.

There are two ways to look at the word imitation; one is the act of copying someone or something and the other is a counterfeit.

Why then is so much of Christianity based on imitation and isn’t it interesting that simulation is a synonym of imitation.

God’s love for you is absolutely unique! He’s never loved anyone in the same way He loves and cares for you. His ideas and desires for you are matchless.

So why do we spend so much time, money and effort trying to duplicate what He’s done in another’s life? We read books about the 5, 7 or 10 steps to this or that, we put together elaborate programs, curriculum and seminars designed to make others like us, all the while forsaking our individuality and cheapening the exceptional relationship God wants to have with us.

Don’t be discouraged if trying to follow the crowd has left you saying “surely there’s more”. There is, it’s more Jesus! He is the only one capable of truly loving you with no strings attached and no baggage. The only one that can satisfy your very soul and the only one that can heal the pain this world has thrust upon you. Cry out to Him, He’s right there.

All the heroes in the Bible were characters. That’s not to say they weren’t real but that they didn’t fit in, they were different. They didn’t fall in with the norms of society and religion and the results of their lives were supernatural. The one thing they all had in common was having heard from God and eventually mustering the courage to step out and do what He said. Most of these characters’s weirdness had its roots in an intimate, one of a kind relationship with God.

This unique relationship is available to all of us today; in fact God wants nothing more. Why then is so much of today’s Christianity about conformity and imitation? Why are our churches gathering places for those that are just like us? Why have the outliers, those with legitimate questions been marginalized? How has “my way or the highway” become so prevalent?

God’s doing something new and it doesn’t look or operate the way it always has. He’s moving in the lives of people that have been rejected by religion and conventionality and drawing close those that will reach out and truly love those that are different. He’s using people that don’t have all the answers but are not afraid of the questions. There’s an uprising underway, seek Him with all your heart to see what your distinctive role will be.

God’s highest hope for each of us is to find and stay in an intimate, unique, and completely fulfilling relationship with Him. It’s not His idea for us to walk the path of everyone else. Different is good.

The world is countering God’s plan with sameness. We’re becoming franchise humanity with no tolerance for anyone unlike ourselves and will soon be herded into one of only two crowds; it’ll be them and us. Much of the church today is playing right along with this plan.

Our answer has to be personal. Our intimacy with the Lord will result in an outpouring of love on individuals, persons that are different than we are and our goal can’t be to make them just like us.