Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Different and Unique

             Have you ever heard someone say, “I wish God would speak to me the way He speaks to you?” I have, and I always told them that He would and He does speak to them through His word. I am here to confess that the answer I have given is not completely correct. God does speak to us, but He speaks to us as individuals. What do I mean by this? As I opened my bible this morning to Hebrews 1:1 I read, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets,” I have always kind of skimmed over this verse, but it intrigued me today, and I had to stop and dig up the treasure that He was showing me.
                All of us are children, we are children of earthly parents, and we are children of God the Father if we believe in Jesus Christ. Think back to your childhood, for those of us who had brothers and sisters, we can all remember a time when we spoke, “You treat me differently than you treat my brother/sister.” My children have said it to me. They have both said that I treat them differently. And I do, we all do. All parents know that each child is different; each has its own personality, emotions, desires and dreams. We are not exactly the same. None of us are exactly the same, we have similarities, but we are all created differently.
                We know that our parents love us, and that the love that they have for us is the same, yet the way they treat us may be different. If I were to treat them both the same, then I would be doing them a disservice. Both of my children have needs, but they are different types of needs. The way my daughter reacts to a situation is not the same way my son will react to the same set of circumstances. But how does this apply to us, as children of God?
                The writer of Hebrews tells us that God spoke to the fathers at various times and in various ways. When you go through the Old Testament, and you read the prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc.) you will see that the way He spoke to Israel was not the same way He spoke to Ephraim or His other “children”. God did not speak to Abraham the same way He spoke to Isaac, or Jacob, or Moses.  He spoke to them differently because they were different. They were individual people.  
                The way God speaks to me is different than the way He speaks to you. Because I am not you and you are not me, we are two different people, with two different personalities, needs, desires and dreams. His purpose for me is different than yours. His love for us is the same, but He speaks to us all differently.
                I once had someone ask me why there were four gospels. (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) My response was because they all saw a different side of Jesus. Matthew saw and perceived and heard Jesus speak to him in a way differently than Mark or Luke of John did. They all saw a perfect representation of God, they all saw and heard the same things, but they perceived Him differently based off of their own personalities and individuality.
                We are each unique in our personalities and the way we perceive things, therefore, God has to speak to us differently, discipline us differently but it does not mean that He loves one less than the other. Matthew saw Jesus as the King of the Jews, Mark saw Jesus as the God of power and miracles, Luke saw Jesus as Teacher and John saw Jesus as the Father of Love. How I see Jesus and how He speaks to me will be different than the way that you see and understand the same Jesus. We each have a personal, unique relationship with Jesus- personal because only you can have that relationship with Him; I cannot have the same relationship because I am a different person than you are. We have similarities, and we can go through similar troubles, but it will always come back to just you and Jesus. Even when you stand before Him after you have left this earth, it will be just you and Jesus. I will not be there, nor will anyone else. It will be you and Jesus, all alone, together.
                I have found myself over the years comparing my walk to the walks of other Christians I know, but that has always left me feeling down and hopeless. The reason I feel that way is because I am a unique creation of God. I am never going to be like anyone, because I am not like anyone else on this earth. God has created me to be who I am, and who He wants me to be. He desires me to be like Jesus, and how He gets me there will always be different than the person standing beside me. We are all lumps of clay in the Father’s hands, but His design for each of us is different. I may become a tea pot; you may become a vase- same clay, just different ways to work the clay to get the finished result.
                God will speak to us through His word, through His Son Jesus Christ. We may read the same passages of scriptures, but we will each get something different than the other because we are different. Instead of striving to be like someone in your church, or like another Christian, be who you are in Him. He created you to be a unique and perfect creation molded for His use; He wants you to be you, the unique and perfect child He has created you to be. He does not want you to be like “her or him” or me. He wants you to be you- so go and be you today. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else, and just be you. Be who God wants you to be, not who you think you ought to be.