Sunday Reflections – Divine Uniqueness

1-16-13 comparisonsMy husband belongs to a Saturday morning running group to which he and about a half dozen other runners remain extremely faithful. We’re talking every Saturday morning regardless of weather, and in Michigan that sure creates some interesting running conditions at times. This group inspires me!

Their inspiration reached the point of me wanting to train for the distances they constantly focus on, mostly ½ and full marathons. So, I convinced (meaning, laid a guilt trip on) my exercise partner to train for and run a ½ marathon with me. After two ½ marathons apiece, we decided that we hated them.

Our bodies simply refused to cooperate, and the resulting chronic injury has forced me to reevaluate my approach to exercising.

This led me to truly understanding that some people are built for distance running, and some are not. So, I am now working to find the approach to exercising that works best for my body, schedule, temperament and lifestyle.

Guess what? I enjoy exercising again. I still run, but shorter distances. Plus, I do a lot of cross training. My husband on the other hand, while he will play almost any sport, focuses on running ½ marathons and on actually continually achieving a personal record. (His fastest ½ marathon is a 1:38.)

Non-Negotiables

Life requires a lot of non-negotiables in order to be physically, mentally and spiritually healthy. We all need certain nutrients. We all require rest. Everyone needs physical activity. And we all need connection with others. While we all need these non-negotiables, we each require a unique balance of them.

We all need exercise, but we don’t all have to get it exactly the same way. We all need rest & relaxation, but those can look very different from one person to the next. And we all need connection with others, but how our relationships operate and even the number of them we have exists as uniquely our own.

Divine Uniqueness

A relationship with Christ is also a non-negotiable. But just like with all the other non-negotiables, your individual relationship with Christ is unique and different from anyone else’s. Let’s explore this a bit further.

  1. God is limitless. His power is limitless, infinite, beyond measure (Psalm 147:5). He knows everything (1 John 3:19-20). Nothing is hidden from him (Hebrews 4:13). Doesn’t Him being unlimited take the pressure off though? I mean, if He already knows and sees everything, I don’t have to pretend with Him or hide anything from Him like I feel I have to sometimes with people. For me, that relieves a lot of pressure. I can completely be my unique self with God.
  2. You’re different. Yeah, I hate to break it to you, but you’re a little different. So am I. (Some would say I am a lot different.) But different is okay because that was God’s intention. He created us to be different from one another, each for a unique purpose. We all have a unique combination of qualities given to us by our Creator. (Romans 12:3-5)
  3. We need differences. A person without an arm or a leg can adapt and accommodate for what’s missing, but doing so doesn’t change the fact that a part is missing. The body of Christ works the same way. It can and does adapt when a part is absent, but nothing can exactly replace the missing part. The job that missing part was meant to do simply won’t get done in the exact way that part was meant to do it. Our uniqueness is essential to the body. (Romans 12:3-5)

Amplify: So, we probably all realize the truth of our uniqueness. Just a quick survey of the people you know personally should be proof enough of this truth. Though we fight against it sometimes and give in to conformity, we ultimately know that no two individuals are alike. Knowing that our relationships with Christ are unique should impact our actions. This happens through avoiding comparisons, appreciating differences, acknowledging strengths and accepting a person regardless of weaknesses.

DISCUSSION: What additional application do you see?

13 thoughts on “Sunday Reflections – Divine Uniqueness

  1. Sounds like our husband are similar, Kari – I live in a family of runners now that the kids are older. I almost feel like I need to start running in self-defense! Scott and three of the kids (16, 19, and 21) are all doing a half-marathon in February in Montana called Snow Joke – they run around a frozen lake on the snow. I'll probably be in a cafe sipping hot chocolate (or home sitting by the fire). Read your last post on amplified as well – sounds like an interesting word for the year!

    One thing that really amplifies my study of Scripture is the study of Greek. I went to a class with one of my kids 10 years ago since I needed to drive him there anyway. I'm so glad I stuck with it as it adds so much to Bible study – I would imagine your Amplified Bible does the same. I just ordered a Hebrew book yesterday so I can start learning that too – my 16 year old daughter and I are going to learn it together. The nice thing about knowing the original languages is that you know what the options are for translation.

    • Fortunately, I participate to some extent with my 5k distances and biking. Our younger son is with me on the variety and shorter distances, and our older son likes the longer distances. (He's good at them too with a 6ish minute mile as a 14-year-old.) You know, I have often considered studying Greek and Hebrew, but I just haven't done it yet. Would actually like a "quick and easy" version to get me started, say by a good book to guide me a bit or even a good online resources. Just kind of want to dabble in it for now, knowing I'll probably get hooked. Any suggestions?

      • Hmm, I haven't heard of any quick and easy versions but that doesn't mean they aren't out there. We used a really old out-of-print book to learn Greek and then I taught it using William Mounce's, "Basics of Biblical Greek." My Greek teacher didn't like it because of the way he treated one of the verb tenses in the book (if you decide to use that book, let me know, and I can explain the objections – it was easy to work around them). For Hebrew we're using "The First Hebrew Primer Third Edition. If I were going to just do one, I'd do Greek. A lot of people use Greek helps and other resources, but when you listen to a speaker or preacher, you can usually tell who knows Greek and who doesn't because it's hard to fully grasp the concepts from Greek helps. Although a Greek expert would listen to me, I'm sure, and know that I'm not an expert!

  2. One thing that divine uniqueness teaches me is our need for community. If you think about it, it makes sense. Why would God give us complementary strengths if he didn't intend for us to cooperate in some way? So that makes me ask myself if I'm really participating in community fully or if I'm trying to be a lone ranger.

    • Terrific amplification of this topic, Loren. You are so right. We were not created as separate appendages that live independent of one another. We are a body that functions at its best when all the parts are doing their jobs. Kind of like a good football team too when all the players are doing their own jobs and not trying to do another player’s job. Community is CRUCIAL to proper function as well as to growth.

    • Loren, that's an excellent observation. Anytime you work with a team, you notice the importance of different skills and how well each individual contributes to the success of the whole team. I'm reading a book on Coach Wooden's 7-principles, one thing he emphasized was always giving credit to the person who passed you the ball if you scored.

        • Also we often do a poor job of recognizing that layer of support that helps someone accomplish something and often the praise only goes to the one who had the honor of finishing something or being the one who was visible. So important that we look for those people and acknowledge them.

  3. OK I can relate. My youngest son, now 31, runs like your husband and he enters 1/2 and full marathons over the past year. He also has lost well over a hundred pounds (former college football lineman). He meets every Sunday a.m. with a running club and last year at their year end party, he received recognition for running 1200 miles over the year! However, as for me "run and fun" are not synonymous. I enjoy exercise but that means 1-2 hours of racquetball, etc. I recognize we all are unique. My other son now 37 is weight lifter and hates running more than me, but is due to his ankles that are reminders of his football days too. God loves diversity with a common unity, His love and passion for reaching and changing lives. He gifts us differently to make sure we reach the diversity of the others we are called to impact for HIM.

    • "God loves diversity with a common unity." Great way to say it, Coach. Not only are we gifted differently to reach and change lives more effectively, we are gifted differently for enjoyment too. He enjoys his children for their uniqueness, just as we enjoy ours for the same reasons.

  4. Kari,
    I was thinking of your point about appreciating differences and accepting a person regardless of their weakness. I think a true friend loves a friend through their weakness. To use your word I think we need to amplify our grace towards their weakness in order to help them through their struggle. It is easy to love their strengths and what they are good at; difficult to love them through their darkness but it is so important to do so. To extend and amplify our grace towards them.

    • I love that you truly "get" why I put that point in the post. So often, we focus on weaknesses needing to go away or be ignored or fixed, and we forget that God's strength and power are made perfect through our weaknesses. Also, we are made differently to be able to make up for one another's weaknesses. So, loving regardless of weaknesses means rejoicing in God's power being shown through that and in Him using us to make someone else stronger by filling in in their area of weakness. For my part, I need to amplify this by letting my pride go and LETTING people come along side me and make up for my weaknesses. When I fail to do this, I am telling God, "No thank you" when He wants to show is strength in my weakness, which He often does through other parts of the body. And yes, for sure, grace is a huge part in loving the person regardless of weaknesses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *