Thursday, June 26, 2014

What Makes You Unique?

By Ada Brownell

Excerpt from Imagine the Future You

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As young people grow up, their choices begin to show. Their creativity, eye for style, and desire to be respected blossom in hairstyles, makeup, and clothing. Appearance also sometimes demonstrates whether you are a leader or a follower.

Many young women today would rather dress warmer (in cool weather or intense air-conditioning) and less seductively than their peers, but their self-images depend on guys devouring them with their eyes. A large number of young women don’t feel they have worth unless they have a boyfriend, and this starts about age twelve. Some will do almost anything to keep the guy, because they can’t deal with rejection—even from slime. Some attempt or succeed at suicide because of broken relationships that weren’t worth pursuing in the first place.

How did a girl’s self-worth depend on how she looks and whether a guy is leading her around as if she’s blind? Does she understand outward looks and most young relationships are temporary.

Furthermore, having relationships too early can risk your future, especially if you participate in premarital sex. Have you noticed how many entertainment stars are addicted to alcohol or drugs, apparently to kill the pain because despite all their “so-called beauty,” professional success, and going to bed with many partners, no one seems to make a commitment strong enough to love until death?

Every person is unique because we all are made in the image of God, but what makes us different from everyone else is not outward appearance. Humankind finally figured out it’s not the color of our skin that matters, but we still don’t seem to know it’s what’s under our skin that counts. Humans are similar to beautiful snowflakes. Not one is the same, but each has a beauty of its own.

For some reason, humans follow other people like sheep following other sheep, even if they have no idea where they’re going.
Sheep will blindly, habitually, stupidly follow one another along the same little trails until they become ruts that erode into gigantic gullies, says Phillip Keller, a shepherd and Christian author.[1]
Keller says, “Instead of being one of the crowd, I am willing to be singled out, set apart from the gang. Most of us, like sheep, are pretty gregarious. We want to belong. We don’t want to be different in a big way, though we may wish to be different in minor details that appeal to our selfish egos. But Christ pointed out that only a few would find His way acceptable, and to be marked as one of His would mean a certain amount of criticism and sarcasm from a cynical society.”
But it is the few—often even one person—who dare to be different who change the world for the better.
 When you are committed to God and do your best with your talents and follow His will, the things you do in your vocation can help many. Pastors, evangelists, and witnesses since the time of Christ tell the story of redemption, and missionaries literally change nations.

Give God your life, and discover what beauty He will unfold in you.

[1] Phillip Keller, A Shepherd Looks at the Good Shepherd and His Sheep (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 65.