How often have you compared yourself to others? “He’s more outgoing than me. I wish I were more compassionate like her.” After such comparisons, we judge ourselves inferior and then pressure ourselves to imitate those people. We assume we’re “supposed” to be like them.
You Are Unique
But you’re unique by God’s design. When I realized I’m not supposed to be like everyone else, I finally gave myself permission to be an introvert. Instead of resenting my differentness, I learned to embrace it, even celebrate it. I discovered I could stop comparing myself to others because they were no longer the mirrors by which I had to judge myself.
Each of us is intended to be a reflection of God, but a unique reflection of that same God. The infinite God is multi-faceted, so each of us offers a mirrored facet that reflects God through our unique personalities, all of us comprising a giant disco ball that catches the light as it spins. Our individual facet combines with all the other facets to offer a fuller picture of God. We contribute a tiny part toward the whole.
Think of the massive sun dispersing rays of light into the universe. God has given each person a ray of His light to shine forth. These rays, when unimpeded, gather together to create a brilliance like the sun. God is light and the fullness of light. The light you’ve been given by God is yours alone and has its own unique signature. My light is not your light. We don’t need to compare each other. Instead, we can choose to be the light that we are, our singular light, our unique reflection of God.
The electromagnetic spectrum is a diverse and widely spread range of frequencies and wavelengths of energy, from x-rays to visible light to microwaves. In the same way, God has created a diverse spectrum of humanity, each person contributing a unique wavelength to the whole. Some people are conspicuously visible like the colors of the rainbow, but visible light is only a tiny segment of the entire spectrum. Humans can’t see some wavelengths of light, such as infrared or ultraviolet, so the talents of some people go unnoticed, yet they still contribute to the full expression of God. God notices these talents since He can see the entire spectrum, both visible and invisible.
In a sense, God radiates across the entire spectrum and we’re particles that emit energy, with our own unique vibration, to fill out this divine spectrum. So, be the light that you are. The more you become that light, the more you become who you are. I love this statement by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee from his book Love is a Fire: “…each created thing glorifies Him (God) just through being itself…” We reflect God most by being ourselves, not our outward selfish selves, but by being our inward true selves. When we live out of our authentic selves, our souls shine forth and God shines forth through our souls as light passing through clear prisms.
We don’t need to try to be like someone else. The better task is to discover our authentic, unique selves and nurture that to fullness. In doing so, God is made manifest to us and to those around us. Not only do we connect to God more profoundly by being our true selves, but also we can connect to ourselves in a deeper way than ever before.
In my book, Four in the Garden, Creator told the angel Radiance that she had been given a drop of His glory. Later, she realizes that this drop of glory is the same as her inner self. In response to that realization, she says with astonishment, “So if I allow my inner self to come forth, then Creator’s glory is revealed.” Our uniqueness is the glory of God manifest and an expression of His uniqueness. Our authentic self brings glory to God as the true God is reflected through our true self.
Jesus said it well by saying, “You are the light of the world. People do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16).
Questions for Reflection:
- Describe some traits or talents that make you unique.
- What traits or talents do you keep hidden from others because you think they are too unusual or easily misunderstood?
- How might God be seen in those traits or talents?
- How might you offer those traits or talents to bless others?
Rick Hocker is a game programmer, artist, and author. In 2004, he sustained a back injury that left him bed-ridden in excruciating pain for six months, followed by a long recovery. He faced the challenges of disability, loss of income, and mounting debt. After emerging from this dark time, he discovered that profound growth had occurred. Three years later, he had a dream that inspired him to write his award-winning book, Four in the Garden. His goal was to help people have a close relationship with God and to share the insights he gained from the personal transformation that resulted from his back injury. He lives in Martinez, California.