One of the most undervalued blessings is God's will to make every individual a unique creation. It takes all kinds of people to do the great work of the Lord's kingdom, and it's a good thing that each of us has special talents, callings, and gifts to serve this purpose. Working together, we can accomplish great things. Unfortunately, the world doesn't value unique character. In fact, being different often translates to being misunderstood.
Take it from one who's been there. I am certainly not like other people. I was raised in a Christian home where faith, hope, honesty and integrity still mean more than anything else in the world. Above all, my brother and I were taught to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and not to compromise our faith for any "easy way out" the world may offer. I was lucky to marry a wonderful man that was raised with the same values. Then I entered the work force. Although college did prepare me to face working with people that hold different values, there was no way to brace myself for the harsh reality that waited.
At first things went well. I worked for a wonderful person that trained me well and had faith in my ability to learn and grow. After a year and a half in that position, I was promoted to another job that required me to move to a different office. This too went fairly well, until we consolidated three years later. Then everything changed. It went from a small, easy-going office to a large formal setting where cliques were common and conformity was prized above all else.
It didn't take me (and everybody else) long to find out something vital about my character: I'm a non-conformist. Although I tried blending in and making people happy, I eventually grew frustrated with putting on an act. My sense of right and wrong was tested at several points, and I found myself falling back on my faith. I was relieved to find that when I was put to the test, I turned to the Lord and not the easy way out - but I was the only one happy about this personal discovery. To put it kindly, my sense of ethics was more sensitive than they liked, and their cliques frustrated me. Fortunately, we consolidated again two years later, and I was transferred to another section with wonderful people of faith that shared my interests and values. It took a while to flush the poison of conformity out of my system, but God bless them because they were patient and understanding. I still thank God every day for delivering me from that situation. Although I wore it as a badge of honor, two years as the office freak was quite enough.
That was a hard time for me, but I learned a lot about my faith and myself. One of the most important things I learned is that God values you as an individual, even if other people don't. What really matters is if He can use you, not if other people can use you to get ahead and make themselves look good.
Although the world may say, "the ends justify the means," God does not accept this excuse. Christians are the light of the world, and if you prayerfully follow the Lord's way and do what is right, He will always work things out for the best in the end.
God needs all kinds of people working for Him, and each of us meets certain requirements. If He can use a fiercely independent, non-conformist like me, He can use you as well. Christ died for us to have a union with God and an opportunity to be all we can be. Stand up, and be proud of who you are in Him! After all, "If God is for us, who is against us?" (Romans 8:31 RSV) It doesn't matter, because His opinion is really the only one that matters. The world may make us pay a price for doing what is right, but the Lord will always see us through to the eternal rewards.
Sherri Fulmer Moorer is a freelance Christian/Inspirational writer from Columbia, SC. Her writing focuses on applying faith to everyday living situations, and is based on her own personal experiences and the experiences of those around her. Her goal is to show people that the battles they face in life are shared by others, and how the Lord can use their experiences to build faith. She is the author of Battleground Earth - Living by Faith in a Pagan World (PublishAmerica 2004), which is a book about spiritual warfare and discovering faith in day-to-day living. For additional information, please visit the Battleground Earth web page at hometown.aol.com/bgearth/index.html">http://hometown.aol.com/bgearth/index.html
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