While on vacation recently, I gave my razor a rest and grew a beard. Various responses came from friends and co-workers—and most were complimentary. One day, however, I looked at the beard and decided, “It’s not me.” So out came the razor.
I’ve been thinking about the idea of who we are and why one thing or another does not fit our personality. Primarily, it’s because God has bestowed us with individual differences and preferences. It’s okay that we don’t all like the same hobbies, eat the same foods, or worship in the same church. We are each uniquely and “wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14). Peter noted that we are uniquely gifted in order to serve each other (1 Peter 4:10–11).
Jesus’s disciples didn’t check their characteristics at the door before entering His world. Peter was so impulsive that he cut off a servant’s ear the night Jesus was arrested. Thomas insisted on evidence before believing Christ had risen. The Lord didn’t reject them simply because they had some growing to do. He molded and shaped them for His service.
When discerning how we might best serve the Lord, it’s wise to consider our talents and characteristics and to sometimes say, “It’s not me.” God may call us out of our comfort zone, but He does so to develop our unique gifts and personalities to serve His good purposes. We honor His creative nature when we permit Him to use us as we are.
Thank You, Father, for the great individuality You have built into us. Thank You for my personality and for my abilities. Guide me in using them for You.
There are no ordinary people—we were created to be unique.
Peter writes a lot about how important it is to know who we are. He wrote as someone who knew what it was like to live under a new name and personal history. By natural birth he was Jewish by ancestry, the son of John (Jona), from the Galilean fishing village of Bethsaida. But when he introduced himself in his first letter, he described himself and those he was writing to as those who had been “born again” with a spiritual birth far beyond the life span and giftedness received from our mortal parents (1:3, 23). To go along with this new identity, Peter gives examples of the spiritual abilities God gives each of His children so that we can enjoy what it means to allow God’s generosity to flow through us to others (1 Peter 4:10–11). What are some ways God is using you?