Your uniqueness is a priceless gift

Did you know your uniqueness is actually a gift from God?

We singles don't think of it that way. In fact, we often wish we were someone else: someone thinner, someone with a smaller nose, someone smarter. Being dissatisfied with yourself is an obsession with human beings in general.

You and I have a hard time appreciating who we are. Instead of remembering that we're one-of-a-kind in the entire universe, we spend many of our days wishing we had something we imagine we lack.

Here's the surprising secret. Your uniqueness is the one feature that makes you a walking, talking, living treasure. Let's see why.

Your uniqueness: a scientific fact

You know about your fingerprints, DNA, voiceprint and ears. They prove scientifically you are distinctive as a human being. Those identifiers separate you from every other person on earth.

While those differences are measurable, there's something else that makes you you and only you: your experiences. Have you ever considered that no one else on the planet has had exactly the same experiences as you, even if you have a twin? Because our personalities are different, we each react differently to what happens to us.

In some mysterious way, God plays a role in every believer's life. We know from the stories of Bible characters that God intervenes in believers' circumstances.

He is not a "hands off" God. He answers prayer, he occasionally tests you, and he brings people into your life to educate and shape you.

You as a masterpiece

What's the result? God is the ultimate artist, and you are his masterpiece. Now you may not feel like a masterpiece by human standards, but God's values are very different from the world's. His values are the best.

Maybe you think mental or emotional problems prevent you from being a masterpiece. God, however, is not hung up on perfection. His goal is to conform you to the character of his Son Jesus Christ, but that goal cannot be achieved in this lifetime, even by God.

You are a work-in-progress, and that progress is hastened or slowed depending on how much you surrender to God. He wants you to be dependent on him. Your sanctification, your journey toward becoming God's masterpiece, is a joint venture between you and the Holy Spirit.

He is forever sculpting you into the person he wants you to be. And because no artist ever creates two of the same masterpiece, your uniqueness is part of what makes you God's work of art.

'Oh no! My appearance!'

Most days, I don't feel like God's work of art. I look in the mirror and see a skinny, hunched-over, bald, bowlegged, nearsighted guy with crooked teeth.

And yet, a few women have actually found me attractive. I know! Many years ago, I asked my girlfriend at the time what she saw in me, and she replied (an exact quote): "Jack, there's no accounting for taste."

Maybe you feel disappointed about your appearance. Drop-dead gorgeous women and men are rare on this planet. That's why they're treated like little gods. But, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, "God must love average folks 'cause He made so many of them."

Early on, I realized I couldn't compete with those tall, male model types, so I concentrated on my sense of humor and on being kind and honest. Hey, I'm still single, but I never acted like a jerk with women, and I'm proud of that.

What I'm trying to say here is that the standards society sets for beauty are unrealistically high. If you pay close attention, most of those standards are designed to make money—cosmetics, weight loss programs, hair products, designer labels—all standards set by advertising folks who, frankly, couldn't meet those standards themselves.

Your uniqueness means there is beauty in being one-of-a-kind. I counsel singles not to give up and neglect themselves, but rather try to make the most of their appearance. If going on a diet makes you feel better about yourself, do it. I don't object to people having cosmetic surgery or caps on their teeth; just make sure you do it thoughtfully.

Remember that your soul is what needs the most work. God's desire to make you like Jesus doesn't mean he wants you to grow long hair and a beard. Character counts. I've always thought there was a lot of truth in the old WWJD (What would Jesus do?) bracelets. If you use that question to guide your actions, you'll go a long way to resemble our Lord.

Keep in mind the outer person fades while the inner person gets younger and stronger every day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)

What motivates God

There's an old saying that God takes us just the way we are but loves us too much to leave us that way. God is motivated by love.

Love is one of the reasons your uniqueness is important to God. He delights in your personality, your appearance—everything about you. Well, except sin. But make no mistake about it, he continues to love you even though he hates sin.

You and I have a sinful nature. We'll never stop sinning. However, the good news is that as you surrender yourself more and more to God, your desire to sin lessens. The masterpiece God is turning you into sheds bad habits as you grow, moving toward total Christlikeness when you pass through the gates of heaven.

God loves to give you the gift of understanding. Over time you come to learn that obeying God is more satisfying than sinning. There's no guilt, no remorse, and you're not hurting anyone else or yourself.

Obedience isn't easy because you're fighting your sinful nature, the temptations of the world, and Satan's devious tricks. Your secret weapon is the Holy Spirit. He helps you make right decisions.

As God makes you more like Christ, he doesn't squash your personality in the process. He loves your uniqueness too much to make you a clone. He enjoys your quirkiness and the thousands of things that make you who you are.

God improves you while keeping the real, unique you. Now that's love!

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