“If God meant for you to have a butterfly on your ankle,” said Dad, “He’d have put it there, to begin with.” I stuck out my lower lip. “God made you this way on purpose,” he added.
I didn’t disagree with Dad’s point, it’s just that “I don’t even have a birthmark!” I refuted. “There’s nothing unique about me.”
For years, I wanted to appear brave, be popular, and get noticed. Only instead of feeling extraordinary, I simply felt ordinary … and I thought a tattoo might help
Do you try to stand out in order to fit in?
Have you ever purchased clothing quite unlike your favorite style? Or used drugs or illegal drink but you don’t like it at all? Have you lied to your parents to attend a certain event, or inflated your achievements to boast of where you’ve been.
Take a minute. Think back to before and after your poor choice. Did anything change? Were true friends acquired? Were you suddenly unique or just of a different crowd?
Unfortunately, our shallow attempts to be who we’re not – these become increasingly addictive. Insane, really – doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.
How to really leave a mark
“A tattoo doesn’t make you unique,” said my mentor, Cathy, after I shared my frustration. “It’s how you live. It’s who you are consistent.” She nodded, “That’s why you’re remembered.”
Cathy opened her Bible, and I’m sure I rolled my eyes. I wasn’t in the mood for a fluffy psalm. I didn’t want to hear how God knew my hair count. But Cathy didn’t turn to the middle of the Bible. She turned to the New Testament; to Romans 12:9-21.
That afternoon, I learned if I wanted to make a good mark in the world, my only hope was to exhibit the marks of a “True Christian.” To make a mark difference in the places we leave, we must severely consider the Christlikeness in our living.
It’s no coincidence God chose one of the greatest convicts of all time, Paul, as the man to implore us towards right-living. Unlike a tattoo which will fade, stretch, and skew, Paul provides us a with a list that will outlast everything. While these marks won’t exactly make you popular among peers, God promises the uniqueness will endure.
Because only you can shine Christ as He made you to.
Make a change that lasts forever
When we come to believe we are loved no matter what, and we discover God’s not sorry for the way He made us, God’s steadfast love eradicates wrong mindsets. Then when we count all things rubbish compared to knowing Christ, we experience His true uniqueness.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul calls God’s people to realign themselves. Paul encourages believers to remember Who they serve and Who they belong to. He does this by logging the marks which make a real difference; the marks which make us different in a world that has yet to know Jesus. These are the marks which prove we’re Christian and we belong to Jesus.
As you consider the following list from Romans 12:9-21, ask yourself this: How does my life measure up? Am I wearing these ‘tattoos’ for all to see? Invite God to help you be just exactly as He made you, and seek His help as you work towards leaving a mark that really matters.
- Abhor evil. Hold fast to good.
- Love one another. Show honor.
- Do not be slothful. Be fervent in Spirit.
- Serve God and Rejoice in Hope.
- Be patient in tribulation and constant in prayer.
- Contribute to others’ needs and show hospitality.
- Bless those who persecute you.
- Rejoice and mourn with those who do.
- Live in harmony. Do not be conceited.
- Do what is honorable in everyone’s sight.
- Live peaceably with all. Do not take revenge.
- Overcome evil with good.