If you’ve ever watched movies about teenagers, you see a lot of cliques. Perhaps you even remember these from your own teen years, or see it in your own children. The need to fit in starts at a fairly young age – we learn that we need to be like others to be popular. Otherwise, you’re nobody. No one wants to play with you on the playground. No one invites you to parties. You may even get bullied, or be the subject of gossip and rumors.
Sadly, this is something that tends to continue into our adult years, even until we’re old and gray. No one wants to be a “nobody”. We want to be liked. We want to have friends. We want to feel like we belong.
Unfortunately, to achieve this, we often need to stifle our true selves. We bury the “quirks” that make us unique, afraid of being thought of as weird. We hide our talents and skills and wisdom, afraid of being called nerds. We hide our likes and interests to avoid being picked on.
We forget the fact that God intentionally created us all different. He molded each one of us, and continues to do so. He has given each of us different personalities, talents, skills, interests – each to be used in following God, and in helping and showing love to one another.
Today’s Lenten sacrifice:
Stop trying to fit in with the popular crowd.
You have been created special for a purpose. That purpose is not to be like everyone else. That purpose is not to hide your God-given skills just to be like everyone else, serving your own desire to be liked. It is to serve God’s will – God’s command to love one another, serve one another, and to love and serve God.
May God the potter help you to see your unique gifts as special, and give you the courage to use those gifts rather than hide them.