Good afternoon to all. I pray all are doing well on this beautiful day. Just a reminder, please join us at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, Thursday, for our 15 minute devotional. Dial 1-605-562-8401. Your access code is 670-7270#.
See today’s message below:
October 6, 2021
Aren’t you glad that all human beings are not the same when it comes to physical features, emotions, behaviors, personalities, etc.? Just imagine how dull the world would be if we all looked alike, thought the same and acted the same. I for one believe it is a beautiful thing to have even different shades of people in the world God created. God knew what He was doing when He made all of us different in so many ways, even down to our thinking and decision making.
Most of us, I think would agree that since childhood, have been taught by a system that does not condone individualism. We were taught to adapt to an environment that would cause us to please others rather than ourselves. We have basically conformed to a society that attempts to dictate to us who we really are in life. When we started our careers, we adhered to the standards of the organization in which we are employed. We adapted and moved on even if it was against our principles and beliefs. Again, we are more concerned about satisfying others than ourselves and God. Striving to satisfy God and self, should mean more to us than anything or anyone else.
Individualist as defined by vocabulary.com is a person who pursues independent thought and action. If we are individualist, we think for ourselves and do things in our own way. What really matters is who we are submitting to. Is it self, system or God?
Let us not allow other people to define us, for they will restrict or limit us in such a way that is less than what God has in His plans for us. They will define us as less than what God wants us to be or become. As one writer puts it, they will define us as less blessed, less intelligent, less effective, and less spiritual than God wants us to be. Press froward my brothers and sisters and let God control your destiny rather than man or woman.
As we continue through life, regardless of our age, we should continuously define ourselves rather than allowing others to do so. Sometimes we get so caught up in what the world wants us to be or do that we forget whose we really are or what we can become through our God.
Sometimes we get caught up in the expectations of others rather than our own. A statement all of us can live by is, “Everything popular is not right and everything right is not popular.”
The message I wish to convey today is that each of us should define ourselves and not let others’ definition of us determine what we do and who we are. It reaches a point where someone else’s opinion of us should become irrelevant as long as we are listening to God and not solely ourselves. The truth of the matter is this, as long as we go along with tradition and the majority, we are accepted and liked, but if we deter, we may lose family and friends. Once again, let’s not let others limit our ability to reach for the stars because it is not something others may agree with. When we do not conform to the opinions of society, we become criticized and ostracized, but so be it. As long as God is pleased and we are doing things for the right reason.
There are some people who dismiss us because we are individuals who do not conform to the norm or what is considered to be the norm. We encourage others to step out of the box, but when that happens, there are those who wish to stuff us back into the box.
When I was a six-grade classroom teacher, I used to post what I thought were three powerful words that students could view every day. Those three words were, “I Am Me.” I even understand better today how profound those three words were, but ask myself, did the students really comprehend and understand the message I was attempting to convey?
I love this quote by Heraclitus, “Life is like a river and you just can’t restrain it. Because when you actually limit it, you rob yourself of opportunities, happiness and meaning.” I interpret this to mean that we should not let others put chains on us or restrict or limit us from doing what makes us happy and complete.
When we think about Jesus, He could have joined the Pharisees or Sadducees, but He simply ignored organization, religious or political. He submitted himself to God and submitted to doing what was pleasing to his Heavenly Father. May we as individuals do the same?
“Jesus came to set us free, and we must maintain that freedom by faithfulness to Him.” (Silas Martin)
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor