When I was a kid, I loved elementary school—but as soon as I reached middle school, I realized there was a big difference between fifth grade and sixth grade. It seemed as though my friends and classmates transitioned from “kid” to “tween” within those short couple months of summer break. Girls became fascinated with boys, makeup, shopping, cliques, and drama. Me? I still wasn’t ashamed to remain a kid. In fact, even the idea of carrying a purse sounded too mature for me!
For the first time in my life, I felt different. Weird. As if I no longer belonged with my friends—and all because I wasn’t into growing up too fast like other girls seemed to be.
Have you ever felt that way? As if something is wrong with you if you don’t seem to “fit in” with others? If so, I want to share with you a few truths God began to reveal me…
1. Remember that your differences make you unique.
Every detail that makes us who we are was sculpted with intention. Our physical features were given careful attention to. Our gifts were hand-selected by the Master Artist. Our personality was designed to fit the purpose He has for our lives.
Psalm 139:13-14 (NCV) says,
“You made my whole being;
you formed me in my mother’s body.
I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.
What you have done is wonderful.
I know this very well.”
Our attempts at fitting in with the crowd probably look silly to God. After all, He has never created two people exactly the same.
2. Strive to please God rather than people.
I’m sure we’re all guilty of having this fleshly desire—to please people and meet their approval. Yet even though we are held accountable in our efforts to please authority, ultimately our target for approval should be centered on our Heavenly Father. This means everything we do—the choices we make, words we say, way we treat others—should be steered by a motivation to please God.
When we do this, we’ll no longer have a desire to blend in; rather, we’ll find fulfillment in the stamp of approval Jesus has already placed on our lives. We’ll experience freedom that comes from embracing who He created us to be. Plus, the reward we’ll receive when we live for His approval will be far greater than momentary approval from our peers.
3. Avoid the comparison trap.
When we can’t seem to fit in, we often find ourselves taking note of our differences. Resenting the very things that make us who we are.
The enemy will attempt to skew our minds and destroy our self-confidence when we fall for this comparison trap. Why? I believe it’s because he knows that, when we fully step into our identity as a Daughter of Christ and reach our fullest potential in Him, we’ll make a difference in the Kingdom of God. He’ll do everything he can do keep that from happening!
In this digital age, it seems as if comparison traps surround us. When you find yourself tempted to step into another one, walk away. Then, open God’s Word and remind yourself of who He says you are.
The next time you feel like you don’t fit in, think of Jesus. He was the only sinless person to have walked the earth; the only person to have been conceived by the Holy Spirit. People mocked Him because He embraced who He was. They persecuted Jesus for His attempts to minister God’s Kingdom on earth. Even His own friends backstabbed Him and were ashamed to be considered His follower.
How awful would it have been if Jesus had abandoned God’s plan—all for the sake of winning temporary approval?
Instead, He knew the disapproval would only be temporary. The impact it would make for eternity, the rewards that would result from His obedience, would be far greater than any fleeting human acceptance. Christ knew it was more important to live in God’s will, to accomplish His purpose on earth, rather than to “fit in”. I’m glad He did, aren’t you?
I challenge you to view yourself through your Father’s eyes. Remind yourself that He loves you the way you are. Once you do that, you’ll begin to feel completely secure in being who you are.
Even if you reach your twenties and you still can’t get into the whole shopping scene. ;)