You are a unique person. There is no one else like you on this planet or even in this universe! Even identical twins are unique.
You are unique because you have lived a different life to anyone else. Even your closest siblings and family members have not had the same experiences as you. There is no one else like you.
This is a good thing because you have unique gifts, talents and abilities unlike anyone else in the world.
Sure, others may be faster, fitter, stronger or have gifts for music, sport, academics or business. But no one has the same combination of talents, abilities and experiences as you do, and this enables you to do things that no one else can because there is no one else like you.
Think about this for just a minute. Do you have parents? Dumb question I know. But you are the only child of your parents that has your experience. Whether you are the only child or one of a number of children you are different from the rest. The experiences of the third child in a family differ vastly from a first, second, fourth child or so on. You are unique.
Are you married? The experiences you gain in your marriage are unique, even those shared with your partner. A husband and wife perceive shared experiences differently, so once again you are unique.
Do you have children? If so then you are the only father or mother to those children, which makes you unique. And the experiences you share with them are unique to you.
I could continue, but hopefully you will see that it is your life experiences and the sum of who you are that makes you unique. There is no one else like you.
So what do you do with this uniqueness? The greatest thing you can do is to employ your unique self to help others understand that they too are unique and have much to offer. But first and foremost it is important that you recognise this special gift you have, this uniqueness, and that you...
Accept yourself for who and what you are
Do you know there are many people who do not and cannot accept themselves for who they are?
Are you one of those people?
Are you striving to be like someone else whom you see as being better than you? It's fine to want to be better but it must be for the right reasons.
Some people seek to change their physical appearance. They feel inadequate or unworthy and believe that changing some physical aspect of their appearance, situation or surroundings will make life better.
Think about those people who have cosmetic surgery just to change the shape of their body. I'm not talking about people who have deformities that cause health problems, but those who seek surgery for vanity or to please someone else.
Isn't this just a sign of their own personal insecurity and that they can't accept themselves as they are?
Consider someone like Helen Keller born blind, deaf and dumb. She was an inspiration to many people as she overcame her disabilities to create a life that was truly successful. Hers was not a life enslaved to fashion, fad and celebrity, but rather a life of success. An accomplished author and activist who led the charge on issues including women's suffrage, worker's rights and opposition to war. She was truly a success in the dimensions that really matter.
When you accept yourself for who you are, recognising your uniqueness, you too can strive for great things. When you don't need the approval of others to define who you are, you can focus on what is truly important to you. This doesn't mean you have to strive for and achieve great things, but you can be successful in life as defined by your own standards.
You cannot be successful while you do not accept yourself as you are. If you cannot accept yourself, you are accepting someone else's opinion to be more important than your own. This is not where you want to be.
You can be all you wish to be but not until you take charge of yourself and accept whom you are.
The Christian Call
One of the things we know and understand as Christians is that we are called as we are, beset with frailties, weaknesses and the issues of our humanity.
Yet God offers His grace and overlooks all of those things we deem as failures. Through Jesus Christ He ignores our faults, sins and weaknesses so that we can stand before Him as the unique individuals He intended. God accepts who we are, as we are and where we are, so let us do likewise, accepting ourselves as the unique individuals He made us to be.
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, answering God's call on him to "Speak to my people." John and his wife Colleen travel all over Australia and you will often find him playing guitar or ukulele outside their caravan somewhere in the Great Outback. You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his Christian Bible study blog (freegiftfromgod.com/blog).
John Lemmon's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/john-lemmon.html