Comfort & Counsel

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by Jacob Ninan

We Are Special

We may be yellow, black or white, tall or short, slim or fat, dumb or smart, educated or illiterate, good looking or not, charismatic or low profile, extrovert or introvert – you name any type of differences – but we are all precious in the sight of God. He has created us not in a mass production factory but individually – hand-made – with a variety that only He can produce (Ps.139:13-16). We are so unique that there is no one who is exactly like us in the whole world – never has been and never will be. With all the design that has gone into our making – the choice of our parents, the time and place we were born in, the genes we have inherited from the parents, and the experiences that we have gone through individually – God has placed into us many factors that influence the way we think and behave, causing us to understand and look at people and situations in a way only we can. We can see that with all this combination of factors what we are is unique and what we can do is also unique.

As Unique Persons

In all our relationships with others, they will find that there is no one else exactly like us. If they try to place us into any category they will always find that there are certain things in us that do not fit that category. If they think that they have understood us completely they would be mistaken because only God can understand us fully. This is the way God has made all of us. This gives the world such diversity and this makes life very interesting and challenging. Yet God’s love for us is based on the fact that He has created us individually. Each of us is so precious to Him that He would have sent Jesus to die for us even if we were the only human being on earth. This helps us to know that we need not compare ourselves with others who are ‘greater’ than us in any way and feel bad about it. We are precious to Him as individuals even if we cannot do some things that others can do, because there are certain things only we can do because of the particular combination of features we have.

Our Unique Ministries

The Bible says that we can comfort others with the same comfort we have ourselves received from God (2Cor.1:3,4). Have you noticed that we have compassion towards certain people facing some difficult situations because we have ourselves gone through something similar, and we wonder why someone who is godlier and more experienced than us does not seem to feel that same concern? That is because God has uniquely prepared us through the years to demonstrate that compassion on that occasion. Whatever ministry we do, we have a certain colouring that we provide that is different from others. In the same way, we also cannot understand why someone else feels so stirred up about some issues that we think are not important. This is because they have been prepared for their unique ministry.

Yet We Are Not Special

In another sense we are not anyone special. We cannot imagine that we are more important to God than someone else. The Bible warns us about imagining that just because God has given us certain gifts that others do not have we are someone special (1Cor.12:21). It is God who decides what He wants from each one of us, and equips us with just the right talents, gifts and experiences (1Cor.12:18). The eye is not superior compared to the hand because it cannot do what the hand can do. Paul explains that when someone plants and another waters, none of them is really ‘important’ because it is God who gives the growth (1Cor.3:6,7).

The Danger We Face

When we see others who are greater than us in some way we can feel as if we are worthless. Whether it is in terms of personality or ministry we can think that they are the ones who are valuable to God and we who cannot do things like them are useless to God. This is one kind of danger. The solution is to recognise that if God wanted us to do the things that others do, He could have easily made us like them. But He has in fact made us the way we are, because He has some unique plan for our lives that no one else can fulfil. The other danger is that we can look down on others who do not have the gifts or abilities that we have, thinking about how important we must be to God! But God is not going to be helpless without us because if He wants He can make even donkeys talk and accomplish His purposes! We may think that because we have some special ministry or gifts we can afford to take some liberties with the laws of God. But God is no respecter of persons (Acts.10:34). In fact He is stricter with those to whom He has given more (Lk.12:48).

Let us have a sober estimate of ourselves before God and in relation to other people. That will be our safety. Let us enjoy the unique relationship we have with the Lord, and the unique things we can do for the Lord. But let us not forget that the others are also equally important to God.

Published in Light of Life magazine, February 2009.

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