You’re not special. No, this isn’t an early Valentine’s Day card gone horribly wrong. And I’m sorry if you feel sucker-punched – I did hit you with that out of the blue. But I really think you need to know you aren’t “special.” Years ago I discovered I felt I was “special.” Thankfully, one of my friends was there to help me see the light. Yes, she was (and is) a legitimate friend. Let me explain:
I don’t know how long it’s been since that day, but I remember calling her as I was discouraged and struggling. She began asking me questions to get to the root of the problem. Our plan: after discovering the root, we would yank it out by giving God an opportunity to speak His Truth to it. Simple enough.
It wasn’t long before I broke down, crying. It had become clear to me that deep down I doubted God would speak to me and my need once it was identified. I believed God wouldn’t show up for me. Oh, I knew He’d show up for my friend, or you, or anyone else for that matter – I’d bet my house on it. But for whatever reason, I didn’t think He’d speak His Truth to my situation like I’d seen Him do for others. I realized at that moment that I believed I was “special” – I was the exception.
Somewhere along the way I had put myself into some category separate from other believers. I can’t even tell you why, but that’s where I found myself that day. Since then I have come to see how this was actually a twisted form of pride.
Normally we think of pride as a self-centered feeling of superiority in relation to others. But when we have feelings of being less than, it’s still a self-focused sentiment of comparison. Make sense? It’s the opposite side of the “pride coin,” but it’s the same coin nonetheless.
I found out that day I had believed a lie. God showed me I wasn’t the “black sheep” of the family, pushed to the outskirts of the flock too far to hear Him. I wasn’t the exception. If I would seek Him, He wouldn’t disappoint me – I would find Him. The truth was: God wanted to show up for me, too.
“If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me” (Jeremiah 29:13, NLT).
Our enemy lies to alienate us from God and others who might encourage our relationship with the Lord. One lie he tells us is that other believers are better than we are. He gives us any number of reasons why we’re different and won’t be able to hear God, feel His Presence, or (you fill in the blank).
Our enemy doesn’t want us to know that our ability to have a loving relationship with God is based on what Jesus did – not on how perfect we try to be or how we look in relation to other believers. When we say we’re somehow the exception to God’s love, grace, or anything else, we’re elevating ourselves and our sin over what Jesus did. It’s saying to God, “I know You say You love me and Jesus’ sacrifice paid for sin, but...” We gotta get that big “but” out of the way.
From that day on I began to expect God to show up in my life. I looked for Him as I read the Bible, I listened for His voice in my thoughts, and I tried to catch a glimpse of Him as I went about my day. You know what? He showed up over and over again. The more I looked for Him, the more I saw Him.
God wants to do life with us. We CAN hear God and feel His Presence. If we’re struggling to be in a close relationship with God, we can be honest with Him and request help. My friend helped uncover a hidden lie that hindered me from fully grasping God’s impartial love for me. Check out Acts 8:26-39 – God sent Philip to help an Ethiopian eunuch who was struggling to understand a passage of Scripture. Simply tell God you’d like some help. Then keep your eyes and ears open – help is on the way.
Becoming more God-focused than self-focused helps keep us from carrying around that “pride coin,” no matter what side is dominant for us. As I focus on God, He reminds me I’m loved, forgiven, and treasured. I know now He wants to talk to me, share His thoughts, and be near me as much as He does any of His children. These things are true for you too, because (Don’t forget!) you’re not “special” either. (Hopefully, that felt more like a hug this time and not a punch to the gut.)
“Opening his mouth, Peter said: “Most certainly I understand now that God is not one to show partiality [to people as though Gentiles were excluded from God’s blessing], but in every nation the person who fears God and does what is right [by seeking Him] is acceptable and welcomed by Him” (Acts 10:34-35, AMP).
Just another one of His beloved kids,