Spiritual Director · May 16, 2017

Devote #34

I’m wondering if your mother ever said anything like this to you… “So, if your friend jumped off a bridge, would you too?” That was the question I got when my mom asked me why I did one of the many stupid things I did, and I told her it was because one of my friends did it. Her point was a real one – why do you want to be like everyone else or do what everyone else is doing, especially when it’s not even a good idea and it only leads to trouble?

It’s a common problem. Just take a look at the world around you. The clothes we wear is based upon the common trend. Skinny jeans, skin tight clothes, flip-flops are all common place these days. Our hair design – remember the days of beehives, the bob, the bowl cut or even a mullet? Who thought those were good ideas and why don’t we see them anymore? I remember almost 20 years ago when I started shaving my head, being one of only a handful that had a shaved head. Today, I’m one of many chrome domes. What about home design or the cars we drive? We do many things in life based upon what somebody else is doing.

This really isn’t anything new. It’s been going on for millenias. God’s own people did it. Samuel was a great leader for the Israelites. When he was old his two sons kind of took over his leadership, but they weren’t like their dad. They were greedy, dishonest and unfair. So the people revolted. They told Samuel they wanted a new leader, and as a matter of fact, they wanted a king.

But there were a couple of problems with their request. First, it was a shot a Samuel and him not training his sons to lead properly. Samuel took it personal. When he went to talk to God about it, God told him not to take it personal because it wasn’t him they were rejecting, but they were rejecting God because He really was their king. The other problem was why they wanted a king. Here’s what they told Samuel…
“We want to be like other nations. We want a king to rule and lead us in battle.” 1 Samuel 8:20 CEV

In other words… we want to be like everyone else.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: God created you to live in community with everyone else, but He created you as an original. You are a masterpiece in His eyes. You are of great worth and value not because you try to be like everyone else, but because the blood of Jesus Christ has set you apart from everyone else. Just be you – the real you. Not the you you think the world wants to see. The you God created you to be.


Thank You for loving me just the way I am, but not leaving me just the way I am. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.