A lady once told the story of how she tried to be more like her former Pastor’s wife. She was a loud, not-too-homely type, unlike her pastor’s wife who was gentle, very agreeable and homely. For a very short period, the plan seemed to work. But before long, she caved under the pressure of trying to be someone else.
I can sympathize with her, been there, done that. I’ve tried to live a life that wasn’t mine. I’ve struggled to fit into groups I didn’t belong to, even Christian groups. Sadly, I found myself trying to be who I wasn’t, trying to sound a certain way, act a certain way. And soon enough, it became clear that I was living a false life. I had to leave the group.
Unfortunately, this experience is not peculiar to me. Many of us find ourselves, at some points, feeling uncomfortable in our own skins, even among fellow Christians.
But shouldn’t all Christians be able to work together and walk together? How can we be so different, yet we are expected to be Christ-like? After all,
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4: 4-6 ESV.
Yes, we are one body, and we should be of the same mind.
…being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Philippians 2:2 ESV.
We are all called to be like Christ, in His attitude, in His humility.
Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] Philippians 2:5 AMP.
Yet we are all peculiar because that same Christ made each and everyone of us unique.
We are different members of that One Body.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27 ESV.
I’ve heard these and similar lines over and over again. And I question whether I can be myself, and still be Christ-like. I have Christian friends and family members who have walked steadily with Christ for decades, long before I made a serious decision for Christ. And I am nothing like them.
But the Lord is making it clear that though we are one body, yet we are individual members. The Christian walk, though communal through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, is still a personal journey. My walk is different from another sister’s walk. The way the Lord handles her is different from the way He handles me. His workings in my life are also different. And God made it so intentionally.
His plan was never to make us like each other, no. His plan was never for us to have the same temperament, similar dispositions. No. Looking at the first disciples of Christ, there were marked differences in their personalities, evident in their actions, and even in their Epistles.
God doesn’t expect you or me to be like any other person, apart from the people he made us to be.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:29 ESV.
There is no personality type that is more favored by God. You can be sanguine with crazy hair or melancholic with no hair, yet the same God will work in you to accomplish His purpose. You may be the extrovert and the life of the party, or the introvert who never gets invited to any party, yet He will gladly take your hand in His and lead you in the way you should go.
It’s not in our place to try and change ourselves to fit into any mold; it’s His prerogative to work in us and change anything that needs to be changed in us.
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:23 ESV.
Making us into the image of His Son is His good pleasure. He calls us to mold us after the pattern of Christ, to live a life full of love and humility. He calls us to Himself so that we can finally rest from our work, trying to be who He made us to be by our own power. It’s only when we sit and learn of Him and allow Him to work in us as we are, then, He can make us as He wants us to be.
But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:7.
Apart from having unique personalities, we also have unique abilities. We are each specially gifted, endowed with varied talents, but all for one purpose: to show forth Christ and glorify Him. Just as no personality is superior to the next, no gift is superior to another.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12: 4-7 ESV.
May we realize that all we are, our unique characters, abilities, and special gifts are given to us by God and may we use all to serve His purpose, both individually and corporately in love and humility.
Chiazo Obiudu is a writer and mother of three. She writes to glorify God and uplift the Body of Christ. Her works have been featured on Faithwriters.com and accepted for publishing in the Upper Room. She enjoys a good read, warm conversations and hanging out with her husband and kids in their home in South East Nigeria. She can be found on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/violet-obiudu-621323108.
We thank you, Chiazo, for contributing to this month’s publication of Titus-two.com sharing about the uniqueness we have in Christ.
You are loved to Heaven and Back, Chiazo ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary