Psalm 139:14-17, (NLT)
"Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!"
Long ago, before the foundations of the Earth, The Lord weaved and knitted our beings in the most intricate ways. God custom designed every one of us, equipping us for a specific achievement and purpose (Isaiah 43:7; Romans 9:20). We are to praise God for the wonderful way in which He has fashioned our mind, bodies, gifts, talents, and anointings. We are to marvel at His magnificent and unique creation for each individual.
In all my travels, I have had the privilege of experiencing many things. In particular, having insight on how many ministries operate. I have had the honor of partnering with ministries that operate well, and have felt the sting from ministries who are not operating well. However, nothing baffles me more than the conquest from ministry leaders to conform others to be like them. Many mean well but it really is a pompous attitude that would make any of us think that an individual "should operate like me". Maybe that youth pastor is supposed to be loud and boisterous because in an overstimulated generation, that is what gets the youths attention. Maybe it's okay for that woman to be a confident individual in God because that will give her the strength she needs to uplift other women in Christ. Maybe it's okay for that man not to wear a suit, have tattoos and shaggy hair for the people God has called him to reach.
Although it is wise to learn from great predecessors who have gone before us, God has called us to learn from them....not be like them. The vision often gets skewed, lines blurred, and boundaries crossed when one is given permission to teach another. I emphasis "given permission" because we cannot force our will on others. It is only by permission that one is able to teach, lead, pastor, or mentor. So often people in these types of positions feel it is their right. No beloved, it is your privilege.
Maybe you are someone who is struggling in your abilities today. Maybe you are someone who is being told to change the way you operate in your giftings. Maybe you are confused in your purpose or calling. Maybe you have been shamed for being the person God has created you to be. Today I encourage you...You are the person God has called you to be for the people God has called you to reach.
So be forgiving when well-meaning spiritual authorities try to make you more like them, they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). Respect them, learn from them, but do not alter who God has created you to be for the pleasure of man. Be confident (not arrogant) in who God has made you to be for the pleasure of God.
"Authority does not mean more people to control. Authority means more responsibility to SERVE...more feet to wash."
Dr. Johnathan Welton
Christina is the founder of Relentless Love Ministries and lives in Linton. She is an active speaker, guest lecturer, and published author. For more information, questions, or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org.