Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. (THE MESSAGE)
It was reported that the Chicago gangster John Dillinger made an extreme attempt to disguise his identity so as to avoid lawmakers. He dipped his fingers in acid so that his tell tale fingerprints would be obliterated and thus make arrest more difficult.
After such pain, he suffered more pain when it became evident his old fingerprints had returned just the same as before. Individuality cannot be so easily overcome. They say each snowflake is unique and so it is with human beings. Made by God not according to some mass production line, not as a job lot. Each of us is one of a kind.
We have no need to try to be a clone of those we may admire or envy. We are accountable to God for what we do with what we have, not for what others may have. We are called to follow Jesus as the people we are, not as those around us. True, we may be encouraged or inspired by such people, but we are not them.
We have our own temperaments, our own capabilities, our own passions. We rightly seek to make the most of them, fulfilling our God given potential. We learn from others and over time we refine and develop the unique qualities we have. Being unique individuals does not mean we never change or grow or improve.
But it does mean we own our raw material. We pursue godliness just as any follower of Jesus will do. But the way we do it, and the precise shape of it, will differ from others. We pursue a common end by wonderfully different means.