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Do you ever feel like you are just going with the flow or following the crowd? All for one, one for some, some for all, me for ya' how does that go again? Oh, I remember, if I like what you like than we can be friends. But wait, what if I choose to be different? It seems like individuality is only celebrated when it fits within the current social behavior. What if I think or act differently or have different values? At times, our different beliefs make us feel like we are alone in the woods. When did different become a bad word? Distinct, unique, separate, differing in quality, non-identical, contrasting, and novel are words that can be used to describe different in a positive tone. All to often though, different is used in an abusive manner as in "He is so different, I would be careful" or to belittle like "Your outfit is so ... chuckle..different." Different is either used to celebrate your opinion or thwart mine. If you are different then great but if I am different then I am wrong, hateful and under the control of some menacing force. Different doesn't mean that at all. It only means different.

We are different for a reason. We have pathways to safety, wholeness, forgiveness and Heaven because we are different. We no longer have to strive to be accepted by God or others. Instead we have gained acceptance, forgiveness and a forever family. Our lives are lived differently on purpose for a purpose. We were chosen to work and speak out for God to tell others the difference He made for us. (1Peter 2:9-10 msg). We are different for a reason and we don't have to be ashamed or feel pressure to fit in or be perfected in the eyes of others. We are called with a purpose. We don't have to be the same as we were before we met Jesus or the same as those who live without Him. We allow others access into areas of us that we should not. Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Their opinions of you ultimately and eternally have no bearing on who you really are. You were and are accepted. Your are important. You were created with a purpose. You are LOVED. Go ahead and be different on purpose.

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