By Rick Warren
“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” (Psalm 139:14 NLT)
When people are hurting, they need simple truth, not simplistic truth. It’s not enough to tell someone to pray, read the Bible, or go to church. You have to help them know how to make changes in their lives.
And we can’t make changes in our lives until we understand our identity. You cannot become all that God created you to be until you embrace your identity — the unmistakably unique and flawed you that God intentionally made for a purpose.
You are wonderfully complex (Psalm 139:14). To fulfill God’s purpose for you, you have to look at every dimension of your life and understand five factors that influence your identity. Then, you have to make the most of what you’re given. We may have all been given different parents, pains, problems, and potential, but we will all be held accountable one day for what we did with those factors.
It’s like a game of five-card stud poker: You don’t get to mix your cards. You don’t get to choose your cards. You have to play the hand your dealt.
The first factor that makes you who you are is your chemistry. This is your DNA, your genes, your hormones, your chemical makeup. Some of you were born with hypersensitivity; others have an extremely high tolerance for pain. Some of you have a low energy level; others are bouncing off the walls. Some of you have backs that are prone to fail you, weak eyesight, or brittle bones. Some of you have low levels of oxytocin, a hormone that affects how we relate to other people.
No flaw is sinful or shameful — it’s the way God wired you! I bought a pair of distressed jeans once that had a tag that read: “These jeans have intentional flaws in order to make them unique.” Your “genes” are the same way: They have flaws that make you unique. Those flaws are part of your custom design, and God planned them for his purpose and glory.
You will never be able to make a change in your life or fulfill God’s purpose for your life until you understand that you are wonderfully complex and uniquely flawed for God’s glory. The question then, is this: What will you do with the hand you’re dealt?
Talk About It
- What are the flaws that make you unique?
- How can you use those flaws to bring God glory?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller “The Purpose Driven Life.” His book, “The Purpose Driven Church,” was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.