People like to follow a crowd. We talk a good talk about wanting to be indiviual, to pursue originality and to “be different.” Yet, there are many times where we never want to be the first to do anything.
I found it especially hard as a teenager to be anything different. Even as I tried to follow what everyone else was doing I was never quite the same. My physical difference was always apparent anytime I wore a skirt. Immediately set apart from the crowd.
I remember when platform shoes came back into style. Most of my friends had gotten this pair from a shoestore in Kingswood (England). I had desperately wanted these black lace up shoes. Eventually, after almost everyone else had them, my parents took me to get those shoes. I was so excited to go and get them. Could barely contain my excitement. When we got to the store though, they didn’t have my size in the lace up ones. There was a pair very similar but instead of lace up they had a zipper top. Definitely not as cool.
My mom convinced me that I should get the zipper ones as they were similar to my friends but were different than everyone else’s shoes, so I could be different and special. To her this was a good thing. To me, the only thing I wanted to do was fit in. However, since I really wanted to get a pair of these platforms and I was finally allowed to and they didn’t have my size in the lace up ones, I got them.
Pretty sure one really noticed that it wasn’t the lace up shoes they all had, they probably neither cared or thought it mattered. Eventually I realized that I actually liked not having the exact same shoes as every one else. I was similar enough to still be trendy without blending in so much that I lost my individuality. At 12 years old I didn’t verbally acknowledge that, but it was definitely part of my thinking.
Now I embrace the flair of not being part of the crowd, of standing out, of finding my own beat. To pursue a unique thought, style or opinion based upon fact and truth is much more rewarding.
Many adult people are still not comfortable standing out, preferring the anoniminity of being one of the “sheep”. When you call yourself a christ follower and you pursue the sameness of the world though you are putting aside a critical element of your idenity. You are not called to love Christ and then be like everyone else.
Carve out your own identity in Christ. Don’t base everything you think or feel upon what a person tells you, follow what God decrees. Open up your bible and let God talk to you. Let Him dicate your opinions, desires, dreams, and creative pursuits.
If you are a Christ follower who is waiting for your friends to tell you how to behave, how to dress, how to speak – you’re going to lose the part of your existence.
I see so many people who copy and follow. Who decide that if a friend is doing something then they will copy them. If they hear of someone who wants to purchase a certain item, they rush out to do it. It’s confusing when we’ve moved out of the teenage years to have some adults acting this way.
All I think is that these people haven’t learned the true gift of what the Holy Spirit has for them. The Holy Spirit indwells us in unique ways. While others may share your gifts, or hopes, or dreams, or loves that doesn’t prevent you from being unique. God creates every person with a purpose, with a divine design and doesn’t want to have an earthly amy of defenders who blend into each other.
If you are so afraid to stand alone, it might be time to figure out why. You’ve likely not surrended something to God. You likely have some forgiveness to deal with your life. Ask him to dwell in you, and you will see the wonder of who he created you to be.
As soon as you feel free in Him, you’ll be free to stand out in a crowd.