Embracing our Uniqueness

For the last 5 years or so, I have been a coach in our church’s Upward Basketball program.  It is a great program that gives students the opportunity to play basketball, develop their skills and hear truth from God’s Word, all in an environment that is focused on the players, not just winning games.  While everyone likes to win (including me), it is not held out as the highest value of the program.

Along with coaching, I get the opportunity to give a half-time devotion to the parents and family members in attendance.  The good news?  I already know what I’m going to say (for the most part).  In Mark Batterson’s latest book, Soul Print, he shares a great illustration of how each of us is unique.

As you may recall from a high school biology class, you have forty-six chromosomes.  Twenty-three are from your father and twenty-three are from your mother.  And it’s that unique combination of chromosomes that determines everything from the color of your eyes to the numbers of hairs on your head.  Your identity is part heredity.  And so it is with the image of God.  The image of God is your heredity and your destiny.

From a mathematical perspective, the probability that you would get the twenty-three chromosomes you got from your mother is one-half to the twenty-third power.  That’s 1 in 10 million.  But the same is true for the twenty-three chromosomes you got from your father.  So if you multiply those two together, the probability that you would be you is 1 in 100 trillion.  But you also have to factor in that your parents had the same probability, and their parents, and their parents’ parents.  My point?  You are incalculably unique.

I think we need to hear that our uniqueness is something to be celebrated.  In a society that elevates certain characteristics and qualities over others, we need to realize that each of us is one of a kind.  Students need to hear that.  Adults need to hear that.  We are unique and we are God’s workmanship.  God created us as His masterpiece and our role is to embrace our uniqueness and then use that uniqueness to live for God like no one else can.

Scripture reminds us that we are not here by accident.  God created us on purpose and with a purpose.  How can we use our uniqueness for Him?

Public vs Private

I have been reading Mark Batterson’s new book Soul Print. I was fortunate enough to receive a preview copy (more on that in a later post.)

He offers a pretty big challenge in the midst of one of his chapters. He is discussing integrity and doing what is right even when it is difficult. Batterson points out a truth about us as individuals: we are probably more concerned with how we look/act/talk in public than in private. The opinion of others is of pretty high importance so we watch the things we do when others are around.

Batterson flips that thought upside down when he writes this: One of my deepest desires is to be a better person in private than I am in public . . . I want those who know me best to respect me most.

I think our natural tendency is to play to the crowd when many people are around and then kind of let our guard down when we are with people close to us.  We are more concerned about the public “me” than the private “me.”  I wonder, what would it require of us to be a better person in private than we are in public?