unique: to be the only one

Kirk Franklin’s A God Like You was playing on my iPod during my run this morning.  Although the lyrics are expressing the unduplicatable and unmatchable nature of God, the line “there’s no one like you” sparked a thought about our individuality.

The thought that we, as individuals, are unique pervades Christian culture. We are told that God put us together in such a way that there is no one like us on earth, that no one can do what we do, or fill the shoes that we fill, but there is. We are not so unique that we don’t share aspects of our being with others. I am not the only person on this earth that blogs (thank God).  I am not so unique that I am the only English teacher on this plant (thank God once again). I am not the only Sunday school teacher/youth leader who is passionate about seeing a generation of students see the power of God manifest in their lives to the point of witnessing the lame to walk, the blind to see, the sick healed, and demons flee (can I get an “amen” on this one?).    I am not so specifically designed that I don’t share trials, pains and sorrows with others. I have lost loved ones. I know that pain. I have had people betray me. I know that hurt.  I know the abundant joy of holding my new born child in my arms.  I know the abundant joy of holding my adopted child in my arms.  I am not unique, and neither are you.  Because we have more similarities with each other than differences, we are able to empathize with each other, comfort those who hurt and rejoice with those filled with joy.  Friendships have been made, cultivated and solidified because of shared similarities. It would be a lonely life to be truly unique.

I am all for feeling unique. Everyone likes to feel special now and then.  I like to think there is only one Sarah Mandl on the earth, but there isn’t.  There are thousands. But there is only one me. Just like there is only one you.

So what’s my point? Although we may not be completely uniquely designed, we fulfill a uniquely designed space on this earth.

It is Christ that lives in us that makes you and me unique. The King James Version of 1 Peter 2:9 calls those that rely on and trust in Jesus as “peculiar people,” but that phrase doesn’t mean weird. “Peculiar” is associated with being set apart from everyone because of being God’s possession; although, being totally possessed by God can cause others to view you as “peculiar.”  The New Living Translation says it like this: “But we are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His marvelous light” (emphasis added)  We are unique because of Christ living in us. We are unique because we are His.

How does He make us unique?  Let me offer an extremely simplistic explaination.The Bible is chalked full of testimonies of how Jesus and His disciples raised people from the dead, gave sight to the blind, healed physical ailments, made the lame to walk, and set people free of demons.  In John 14:12, Jesus is recorded to have said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I’m going to be with the Father.”  The same works and even greater? Us?  You and me?  Yes, yes, and YES!  The Holy Spirit that lives inside of us gives us the power to touch someone and have them healed. It gives us the power to make someone lame to walk, blind to see, and demon possessed to be free.  No one else can do that but us. No one. But us. That makes us unique.

I want to be unique like that. I want a faith like that. I want to pray for someone and, right before me, see someone gain their sight, become ambulatory once again, and become free of demonic oppression.

My question for you: what is going to be your reason for being unique? Is it the problems you have, the difficulties you face, the disease you have, or the talents or skills you have, or is it going to be the unique power of the Holy Spirit to offer life and freedom to this world?


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