Miss Originality

The Miss USA crown has now been officially passed on to another beautiful blonde head. Congratulations to the young woman who earned it! I pray she represents her generation well. There's a lot of responsibility when it comes to being a star. They influence thousands by the way they look, act, and stand for. Whether she realizes it or not, for better or for worse, Miss USA has got big shoes to fill.

In all the glamour of the competition, I can't help but think about people like you and me who may never step foot on a modeling runway. May never have our bodies or talents judged, or have a glittering Miss Something crown placed on our heads. Where does that leave us? Stranded backstage, crowned as Little Miss Nobodies? That's how I would be tempted to feel . . . if I didn't know that comparing myself to someone else was not in the plan of God for me.

Galatians 6:3-5 from The Message has helped me out: "Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."

If that wasn't convincing enough, take a look at Galatians 5:26. Basically it says that since we've chosen the Christian way of living, we're not to play the comparisons game: "That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original."

What a relief! God just took all the stress out of our lives by saying each one of us was original with an original God-planned job to accomplish! That vocation isn't supposed to be spending every day of our lives comparing ourselves to that year's Miss USA. The only thing we're supposed to be comparing ourselves to is how I'm shaping up to the "original" person God's made me to be.

I have to admit, though, that it's a little tough focusing on our "originality" if we don't even know what makes us original. Miss USA airs on the TV and we sit numb wondering what could possibly make us special next to her. We get the shakes thinking about a judge dissecting everything about us from the way we talk to the shape of our noses.

Thankfully, God hasn't left us in the dark to our identity. We find out by making "careful examination of who you are." In other words, we have to stop looking at what the world thinks we should be and focus on who we really are.

What's so original about us? Let's take inventory:
We are original, hand-picked children of God! Chosen, royal, and holy! No one can say we're not good enough, because on God's runway, there's no flaw found on us! What used to be the old us is now something incredibly new and beautiful to God. We've got all it takes to win the pageant of life! And we've got the awesome blessings of Heaven to pave the way for our success! (Romans 8:16, 17; I Peter 2:9, 10; Colossians 1:21, 22; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:37)

I don't know of any beauty pageant criteria that could top that! These attributes are the truth because God announced that it is so. Not just when we're young and have minimal wrinkles. Not just when we're at the peak of our talent career. This is absolute 100% of the time for our whole life!

Unfortunately, the world doesn't believe this. That's why we've got to constantly "sink ourselves" into the reality of who we really are in God's eyes. He's the ultimate Judge who will never vote His children out of the contest. Make His opinion the only opinion worth believing!