Last year, Hannah came home from school concerned about a conversation that she’d had. While talking with a friend, Hannah had pointed out that the shoes that this girl was wearing made her feet look small. Hannah told me multiple times that she was “not trying to be mean;” she just thought that her friend’s feet were more Hannah’s size, but instead they appeared to be small.
The friend responded with, “I know. Lots of people tell me that. Do you want to see my foot outside of my shoe?” Before Hannah could really respond the friend had her foot out of the shoe and on display. Come to find out, the friend’s foot was indeed closer to Hannah’s foot size than the shoe made it seem.
Hannah felt guilty that she had made the comment and needed to be reassured that everything was okay. From her description it sounded like the friend was not offended by the comment, so I told her that it would be alright. I did decide that this would be a good opportunity to talk about being careful about making comments about people’s appearance.
We talked about the fact that God made all of us different on purpose. It was not a mistake – He carefully planned out how each person would look. I took it to the next level by explaining that because God was so purposeful in making us different, then Satan will try anything to make us think that different is bad.
Satan will plant lies like… “If only my nose was like so-and-so, then I would be pretty.” “If only my hair was this color, then people would like me.” I am sure you, just like me, could come up with a lot of things we don’t like about our appearance and someone who we would rather look like. I explained that instead of comparing and wanting to be like others, we need to embrace our differences and be thankful for them.
I love talking to my girls, because you can just see them thinking and trying to figure things out. After a pause, Hannah made the good observation, “It would be a boring world if we were all the same!” Amen to that!!! Hannah thought for a minute more about my words, and then told me that school was “very colorful today.” I asked her to explain. She said, “Today there were so many different colors of shirts. It was fun to see all of the different colors.” She enjoyed the variety, and I think she was beginning to see: Different is good!
Are you embracing your differences? Why don’t you take a few moments right now to thank God for how He made you different and perfect! Are you teaching your children to love their uniqueness? To accept uniqueness in others?
Romans 12:5-7 (NLT) 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. 6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.