Life

Individuality

border2There’s an overflowing box of wigs and random costume pieces in my parents’ basement.

You’d think it would be from my brother and I’s elementary school days–but mostly it’s not. I really like costumes and so does my family. I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to a movie premier in loosely based character dress with my brother and parents, or lip-synced in late night music videos with my cousins wearing the weirdest possible combination of clothing.

I guess it’s just our thing.

And I guess we just like to have fun.

I’ve always enjoyed pushing the boundaries a bit on socially acceptable fun (and no, nothing that breaks the law of course). I think there’s a lot of merit in being an individual. It’s not that you should always live life focused only on fun and crazy activities, but I do believe there is a time and place for it. It’s nice to just let go and be the crazy, goofy version of yourself.

But really, there is a lot of merit in being an individual. Being an individual doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stick out in a crowd, rather, being a true individual just means you have convictions and you’re not afraid to go off the beaten path (and avoid things like arrogance, jealously and I-ness when asserting that individuality).

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how being a true individual is a difficult balance–and also how that individuality applies in the Christian life.

A person is both an individual and member of a group. A person is individual and has a personality and patterned process of feeling, thinking and doing things. A person is also not an island. For our survival and belonging needs, we cooperate with members of a group. We are social beings.

As Christians, a person is also regenerated through the grace of God. Regeneration, however, does not destroy individuality. If Christ is in you, you are a new creature. The Spirit of God then uses man’s individuality. Take, for example, the different writing styles of the scriptures in the Bible. They are divinely inspired, yet contain human personality elements. David, the natural poet and lyricist, reflects this in the Psalms. The splendor of Isaiah contrasts with the verses of rude herdsman Amos. James is pungent while Revelations shows a weird magnificence. Take also, for example, how the Spirit uses individuality in Peter and Paul. Peter ministered to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles.

Each person has work to do and a place to be. We must allow the inspiring and directing Spirit of God within us to do just this.

I think you should respect your individuality, while at the same time giving God the glory for who you are and what you do. Live your own life. Who cares what the person next to you is thinking or how their life experiences shape up to yours.

Keep checking to make sure Christ is in you and your work.

And if you want to be goofy, dancing and lip-syncing in front of a webcam every now and then, by all means, go right ahead.

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