Sunday, October 4, 2009

So What is Normal Anyway?

Have you ever felt like you were different than other people? Like maybe you weren't normal? That you just don't fit in?

I struggled with this feeling for most of my life. I always felt different. I felt like I wasn't as good as everyone else. I wasn't normal like everyone else around me.

As I've grown stronger in my faith and gotten to know God a little better, I have come to realize a few things about this whole thought about being "normal." Let me share what I have found out. First and foremost, this thought is wrong. We all need to hear the truth on this subject loud and clear.

I have realized recently that I have not been alone in my dilemma. Most people feel the same way. We all have the same need to be accepted. We think the other guy is normal and we need to be like that person to be considered acceptable. Satan would love for us to continue in this thinking and chase our own tail until we drop. Why? Because it is futile and leads us to nowhere but misery. If we are consumed with trying to fit in we will never stand out like Christ would rather we focused on.

What is normal anyway?
Normal - conforming with or constituting an accepted standard, model, or pattern. Corresponding to the median or average of a large group in type, appearance, achievement, function, development.

Conforming to an acceptable standard. Being the average of a group. So what exactly is the acceptable standard when it comes to a normal person? What do we gauge average with? Unbeknownst to us, the standard is something we create in our own mind. So guess what? Everybody’s standard of what a normal person looks like is different. With that kind of standard, I will never find normal, nor will you.

I have to share some truth with you here. I did not grow up in the church. When I became part of a local church body, I looked around and thought everyone was perfect. These people had it all together. I needed to be just like them if I wanted to be normal. So I pasted a smile on my face when I walked through the church doors and tried to be just like them. But inside, I knew I wasn't. I was a mixed up mess that needed work and in my eyes they were not.

So often we use the term normal and think it refers to those who are doing things right. The normal people serve God right. Normal people don't have all the struggles in there life. Normal people are happy. Normal people don't struggle with sinful behavior. Normal people don't have problems like me.

Here's the truth. There are no normal people. We are all flawed. We are all dysfunctional. We are all full of sin. Whether our sin is visible to the naked eye, closed up in our thought closet or hidden in our hearts, we are all just fallen creatures that don't deserve the mercy God offers. Thankfully, He gives it to us anyway. Those that think they deserve the mercy of God should check their heart. They will probably find pride hiding there.

When Adam and Eve bit into the apple, all humanity became fallen creatures. Since then we have struggled to be normal again. We have struggled to be considered the good person, to be the one called acceptable.

Nothing we do makes us acceptable or good enough. It is only by the covering of the blood of Jesus that we are finally considered acceptable.

I have decided that since it is impossible to be normal, I will instead be what Christ intended me to be. I will be extraordinary. I will be the one that stands out in the crowd. The different one that people stop and try to understand. Why is she so different? That is what I want people to say. What does she have that I don't have? I want that! They will say after they meet me.

Mother Theresa, was she normal? No, she was not. She had an extraordinary heart that loved. Billy Graham, was he normal? No, he was not. He had an extraordinary love for God and for the lost. Beth Moore, is she normal? No, she is not. She has an extraordinary heart that loves Jesus.

I don't know about you, but instead of worrying about being normal, fitting in or being accepted, I want to stand out. I want an heart that loves Jesus and loves others so much that people think I am not just average but extraordinary.

My standard is Jesus Christ and He was nowhere close to normal.


Deborah Ann said...

Wow, this is phenomenal! Absolutely un-ordinary. Thank you so much, you have no idea how much I needed to hear this. I'm so tired of trying to live up to other people's expectations. I'm tired of playing the robot game.

You're invited to join me:

for some laughs and 'God' timeshandy

Epiphany said...

Sherri that's so true!! I have been reading blogs today and everyone seems to have the hand of God on their keyboard today - I'd love to share this one on my blog if that's ok!!

Sherri Watt said...

Thanks everyone! And yes Epiphany I would be honored to have you share it on your blog.


Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Sherri, What a great post. I saw it over at Epiphany's place tonight, and left a comment there, but wanted to stop here to tell you how much this meant to me.

You're a blessing, dear one.