I've been thinking a lot lately about how we are perceived by those around us. I had a conversation with a family member the other day that reminded me of a conversation I had with someone not that long ago. The conversation went something like this :
Them: "Why don't you act like the rest of the family? You're so weird."
Me: "I don't know, I didn't realize I was different from the rest of you."
This conversation got me thinking about how often we get looked down on for being different. A lot of my extended family has told me something along these lines over the years and it made me realize that I am different. I let my identity be defined by who God says I am and I'm not afraid to let everyone know.
It's sad really, just how often being different is looked at as a bad thing. Our society constantly tells us we need to be just like everyone else around us. How we should act, the things we should say, and how we should look. Our culture is constantly trying to turn us into someone we are not. Can you imagine if we were all the same, that would be so boring!
We were not born to be perfect not by a long shot, we were born to be real. It got me thinking about what the apostle Peter stated in 1 Peter 2,
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. - 1 Peter 2:9
I don't know about you, but I am so glad we are all different and made unique with gifts and a purpose that is unique to each of us. I want to encourage you that it is okay to be different, you are exactly who God made you to be and you are enough. If we were all the same life would be boring and well strange. Can you imagine being just like the person next to you?
The first time I had someone say I was different, I was honestly hurt at first. I had it in my head that being different was a bad thing, I thought I needed to be just like everyone around me. In thinking that I tried to change who I was and in the end I began to hate the person I was becoming. I was rude and honestly bitter, I resented that I couldn't be the real me. Or so I thought, I had myself convinced I had to put on a mask for everyone around me. When in reality, I am exactly who I was born to be. It took time for me to learn that what I had to offer the world was worth sharing.
I mentioned I thought I had to hide that I was different, but one day that all changed. I got to the point where I realized being different is exactly who we are supposed to be. We were created to be different and bring light into a dark world. I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again:
Popular opinion doesn't override the purposes of God ..
So the next time someone tells you that you're different, be proud of it. You are exactly who God created you to be and you are enough. It doesn't matter what or who society tries to tell you to be or how culture tells you to act you are exactly who you were created to be. You are loved and a bright light in a dark world! Keep shinning and remember you are enough.
"Don't be afraid to be different. Be afraid of being the same as everyone else.
You have a God-given uniqueness!
- Alianna C.