In the past few years we have seen the rise of social media. This parallels the rise of individualism.
We, as a millennial society are all alike in our search for individualism, ironically. Everything is customisable, from shampoo tailor-made to your unique hair type to every aspect of your car. Every brand out there has caught on to the fact that if they are to reach people, they must make the experience unique to every person out there. Brands can be swayed and must cater to everyone, not offend or leave anyone out, one mistake and we can write them off. Chick-fil-A is a current example of brands being swayed by popular opinion. One hint of neglect in a certain area and we can shut businesses down with one review. We are all desperate to be heard, to be seen and validated, shouting for attention and affirmation with our words.
This is what Jesus has always offered us. Even his Word is Alive in that its message has the power to change how it impacts us in any and every situation we face. It means something different in every season and for any applicability. We are seen, heard, validated. We are affirmed and we have His undivided attention. He made only one of us, even if all we do is look at someone else and try to make our story a little more like the next person’s. The grass is always greener, our hair could be curlier, our skin more tan, less tan, our path a little less rocky. Everyone wants it to be easier, of course, but who will take the path God has chosen for them?
If you could go into heaven and look down at your life, how it plays out, the loves, heartbreaks, disappointments, even the century he chose you to live in, would you agree? Would you choose the nose for your face, the wrinkles that tell the story of your life at its very end?
The very first sin was one human being believing, in her limited knowledge, that she knew better than God. She thought, based on the information she had been given from a source other than God, that her decision was valid because her opinion was more important than any command or truth God had told her. This was the moment our voice became more important than His.
In the West, especially Germany, the Opinion is the most important weapon in any arsenal. The first thing people ever hear from us is our opinion. We use it as a defence against others, to show we are special but Jesus has always seen us as special! That’s why he chose us to die for.
YOU, dear reader: there is and was and ever will be only one of you. You are significant, loved, divinely pursued, every single cell in your body written for a purpose specifically chosen for you, your talents, your gifts and what you can offer those you are in relationship with. We are not a one-size-fits-all society. We have nothing to prove to Him. We go through life regurgitating things we have heard and agree with and take them onto ourselves as our own. I am so guilty of this. Because I grew up in a church, I thought I knew the right things to say and do. I was a result of what I assumed was right thinking and doing. But a really challenging course I just went through called Elijah House prompted me to check my heart against God’s Word and what scripture says we should do, say, act and believe. As Christians we are guilty of this. We repeat what other people who we respect say, what we think those who are more “Christian” say. Are we then just a result of all the information we have ever been given?
Think about this: if that is even a little true, and we currently live in the age where all information ever known to mankind is at our fingertips, how do we know what is true and what isn’t?
The answer is always God. He even said so himself. He is the TRUTH. Not the “true for today until someone proves him wrong”, he is not an opinion, we cannot convince him that we know better and he is not a trend. He is solid as a rock. This is what we can trust. He is constant. We hope in Him because it’s impossible for him to be anything other than who He says He is. If that is what we are all crying out for, searching for, then why can’t we take what he says as reliable? What He speaks out over our lives is true and our reality, whether we like it or not, whether we agree or not. I like something my pastor said a while ago. We can change our lips, our image, our clothes, we can reinvent ourselves every few years but we cannot ever change our DNA. He has written into us who he has made us to be. We can spend our whole lives trying to quieten that truth and cover it up. We can make ourselves so busy that we drown out his message and we will never reach the full potential of who He has called us to be for Him. This is our free will. Not our opinion or “right” to be offended, to hold grudges and pass judgement.
Don’t just say what others say. Don’t dress how others dress. The world will try to distract you by telling us that the things we buy and “need” are “essentials” and “must-haves” and Jesus just says you are enough as you are. If He has looked at all of you and thought you worth loving, then who are you to disagree? Who are we to say we know better? In fact, who told you that you were not worth loving? That you were not enough? Silence that voice because it doesn’t belong to God. Choose the Truth, the only Way to walk where you are never alone, the Light in the darkness that can be all that we see sometimes.