We toured colleges with our son last spring. In every tour, in every talk, we heard a similar spiel: “We want to get to know you—get a sense of who you are. The best applicants are the ones where students are themselves.”
Just Be You?
I hate to be cynical, but all the “just be you” enthusiasm made me skeptical since most of these schools admit seemingly five new students a year. Statistically, it doesn’t seem like “being oneself” is as important as SAT scores, GPA, or any other metric that funnels the throngs of applicants into a thread of coveted acceptance letters. Highly competitive schools with high performing applicants are humanizing their cut-throat admission policies with a warm, fuzzy encouragement to simply be oneself. Do this, and as surely as the sun rises in the east, you will shine.
Not All About Us
Of course, we have all heard the same messages in our own lives. It’s not a bad message either—to just be yourself. In a day when diversity has become a means of deliverance, individualism has become an art of self-love. Still, one can only play Mirror, Mirror on the Wall for so long without becoming utterly bored or an utterly boring narcissist. Loving others has always been where it’s at. It’s where we truly feel full, alive, and connected.
So, yes, be you. But don’t be all about you.
The Unique Love of God
One of the things I love most about God is that He loves unconditionally and universally.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. -Galatians 3:28
The world may classify its people into hierarchies, but God has none of that. He made each of us unique and yet loves all of us the same. How fun is that? No competitions or emphasis on what makes you so special. He eliminated that pettiness when He died on the Cross for our sins. It was the great leveler that gave each individual that has ever been or ever will be the same unequivocal opportunity for redemption.
Of all the world’s laws, treaties, pacts, covenants, and alliances, I know of not one that compares to Him dying on the Cross so that each and every one of us can have a shot at eternal life.
We are Special Because We are His
The world is a finicky place. Trends change with time. What is considered special today is merely a spinoff from yesterday.
In our world, there will always be someone who shines brighter, looks better, and performs superior. God just wants us to be who He creates us to be, to love fully, and practice mercy joyfully. That journey will look different for each of us. But at the end of our lives, it will be what determines our admission into the great Kingdom of God.
Being ourselves is a good thing, but it’s not the true measure of who gets in and who doesn’t. That’s always going to be love. It’s not ambiguous and it’s not unique.
My father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? -John 14:2
The place has been prepared. It is open to all of us and no doubt, it beats dorm living.Are We Really Special? #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Lara Patangan is a freelance writer and mother of two boys. She is currently working on publishing her first book about her mid-life mission to do works of mercy. You can find out more about her here.