Friday, March 8, 2013
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My next door neighbor in our dorm in college always wanted to preach like Billy Graham. I mean he really wanted to preach like Billy Graham. He would tape Billy Graham on his radio program, and then he would listen to the tapes over and over again. He would copy everything, including even the inflections of Billy's voice. And then he would watch Billy Graham. He studied his gestures; he'd try to get them down and gesture just when Billy Graham would. He'd hold his Bible like Billy Graham. Now you are going to think he was really a fanatic, but this really is true. He told me he even counted the words per minute that Billy Graham averaged and tried to get the same pace. Wow! That's a crazy way to approach ministry, huh? Well, it's more common than you might think.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Clone or Original."
Our word for today from the Word of God - one of the most challenging, exciting statements in all of the New Testament - is in Ephesians 2:10. This is about you now. "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do." Wow! God has created you as a unique, one-of-a-kind servant, uniquely prepared, uniquely wired by Him for a very unique set of plans which He prepared in advance for you to carry out.
The problem comes when we start to compare ourselves with other people. You really can't compare yourself because you are a category all by yourself. You might never count the words per minute in somebody's sermon to copy them, but maybe you are looking at someone else God is using and you're saying, "You know, I can't talk like that. I don't know what they know. I'm sort of shy; I'm not that outgoing. You know, I don't have the training they have. I could never serve God like that; I'm not like that person." You're right! You're not like them. Hurray! You weren't meant to be. You were created for works only you can do.
I think we should look for models and learn from their values and their thinking and their ways of working, but not to become clones. The Mona Lisa is an original, it's priceless, but you can buy a postcard of the Mona Lisa for like twenty-five cents at the museum, because copies are cheap. Originals are priceless. Don't devalue yourself by copying someone else; trying to be like someone else. That's an awful, unnatural bondage to all of that.
You see, everything you need - to do what God put you here to do - you have. And all those things that you don't have? Guess what? You don't need. You've got the right hair, you've got the right height, you've got the right body, you've got the right voice, you've got the right intelligence, you've got the right talents, and you've got the right limitations - even your background. See, God is using your background to make you into that unique servant of His. He's weaving a tapestry, and putting into that tapestry the people and experiences that will make you the man or woman you were designed by Him to be.
So be yourself! Relax! Be the person that God made for a unique role that you are destined to fulfill. You compare with somebody else? You'll never get off the ground. You try to copy someone else, and you will never be the person you were created to be.
I think you can say as you look at your life and the plans that God has for it, "God, you know what You're doing." He sure does. Thank Him for making you the only you there is, and don't try to be a Christian clone. You are an original.