BE AN ORIGINAL
I am a pastor, and in my line of work I see a lot other people that are trying to be somebody or something that they are not. Especially others that are in the same field of work as me.
It’s easy to see somebody else preaching in a certain way - especially if they are successful - and then try to become that.
God wants you to be a voice not an echo.
You can follow a man’s principles without copying his personality. For the most part, it’s actually good to emulate other people’s principles if they have caused them to become successful. I’ll come back to principles in a minute.
I recently listened to a sermon that was preached by somebody that went to the same Bible college as me. He was telling a story that wasn’t his, the story was from the president of our Bible college, I knew this because I had heard that same story many times from the man to whom it belonged. It wasn’t just the story, he was also ministering just like the man that had originally told the story. The way he walked, talked, and prayed for people was all very similar to the way our pastor had ministered in Bible college.
There’s nothing wrong with occasionally sharing somebody else’s story to bring a point across. Yet there are many people that are sharing other people’s stories, jokes, and experiences because they have none of their own.
When you become a follower of Jesus, you will have your own story. As you study the Bible, God will illuminate the scriptures to your heart and you will be able to share them in a way that is unique to you.
John the baptist started his ministry during a time of prophetic silence. It had been 400 years since the book of Malachi was written. He didn’t preach a message similar to what anybody else was preaching. He definitely didn’t dress or eat like anybody else.
Luke 3:4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.
John was a voice. He captured the interest of the people who listened him:
Matthew 3:5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him
They listened to him because he was unique and powerful. He was doing what God had planned specifically for him to do.
You are also meant to be a voice. Perhaps you’re not supposed to be a preacher, but your voice will carry weight as you fulfill the purpose that God has for your life.
In any field of work there are individuals that when they speak, everyone listens. They didn’t become that way by chance.
There are others that are always speaking, but nobody is listening.
The difference between the two types of people is the significance of the words that are being spoken. Also the integrity of the person that is doing the speaking.
If somebody wants to address a certain issue that they have no experience or knowledge in, nobody cares what they think. Unfortunately this is what has become of our world, many people that are speaking out through various social media platforms, but their words aren’t carrying weight. Their words are most likely a repeat of something they heard on television or social media.
When you have your purpose it will be evident to those around you. Without you having to seek attention, you’ll have it anyway. People will want to learn from you.
LIVE BY PRINCIPLES
Principles provide parameters to live within - like guidelines. They are there to keep you in an area of safety, but allow you to be free within them.
In our children’s church we have dividing walls that keep the kids in a certain area. Those walls are there for the children’s protection, to keep them from wandering throughout the building unsupervised.
Sometimes principles can feel like restrictions. I’m sure the children in our kids program are very curious about what adventures lie behind the blue walls that are containing them.
There are principles in life that may sometimes feel like those walls. They look like they are keeping us from fun and adventure, but they are actually what are protecting us from many risks.
One objection to living by principles is that we all become the same as everyone else
God is a God of principles. Yet look how unique He is. God disproves this objection by His own existence.
One way that you can see how unique a person is by what they create.
This is easy with artistic people: music, painting, sculpting, architecture all take on the nature and style of the one who created it. Others aren’t artistic but they might create businesses, products, or systems.
Though God abides by laws and principles, His creation reflects the uniqueness within Him. No two people are the same, everyone has different genetic code. The variety of plants and animals are still being discovered by our best scientists. The vastness of space, stars, solar systems expands beyond the human imagination.
Within principles you can be as unique as you want.
A famous minister once said “I obey the laws of God. I obey the laws of men. After that, I do exactly as I please.”
Being Christian and having Godly morals and character does not limit or restrict you. Rather it provides parameters that will keep you safe while you become totally unique.
You can become a great singer and receive world renown. Without God’s principles or guidelines this lifestyle is often associated with promiscuous sex, drug addiction, partying, alcohol, and wasteful living.
With God’s principles you can become a world famous singer without attracting STD’s, waking up in a jail cell, or dying from drug overdose.
In business if you do “whatever it takes” to get to the top: pushing others down on the way, stabbing friends in the back… though you might become financially successful there will be heavy costs to pay.
Yet if you go into business and operate with integrity, it will be a protection to you. You don’t have to worry if the IRS investigates you. You won’t be concerned about people seeking revenge against you.