Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

New beginnings – Day 11

New beginnings … as your own unique self

Bible text(s)

16you saw me before I was born.

The days allotted to me

had all been recorded in your book,

before any of them ever began.

17O God, how difficult I find your thoughts;

how many of them there are!

18If I counted them, they would be more than the grains of sand.

When I awake, I am still with you.

Psalms 139:16-18GNBOpen in Bible reader

For some young children, the fascination with the fictional superhero, Superman, lasts only for a season. However, this was not the case for a designer, Herbert Chavez, from the Philippines. Since he first saw the movie Superman in the 1980s, starring actor Christopher Reeve in the lead role, Herbert started collecting memorabilia of this character.

His love and fascination with Superman went to a next level when Herbert began going for intense plastic surgery (including cutting his nose and chin, and receiving injections for whitening his skin) in order to look more like Reeve. He also received silicone injections for fuller lips and thigh implants for a more muscular look.

Herbert, a dress designer from Calamba City in the Philippines, made himself a Superman suit in which he walked around in town. His neighbours said he did not bother them, but rather, created a good opportunity for them to teach their children to try not to be someone else, but rather be their own unique self.

This story may sound absurd, but how many times have you (perhaps unconsciously) compared yourself with someone else – who is prettier than you, has more money than you, whose children are better at school or sport or who seems to be more popular in the work environment than you? How many times have you started to sacrifice your own uniqueness, by trying to be more like “that” person?

Listen again to the words in Psalm 139:16-18: “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.”

When we lose our uniqueness, by trying to be like someone else, we are walking away from God’s unique plan for our lives. So, before you feel inferior when you encounter that pretty or rich friend, your popular colleague or the couple with the smart, sporty children, remind yourself that they can go to the ends of the earth, but they will never possess the unique potential that God specifically gave to you, to make a difference in the world.

Let us, therefore, seize every opportunity today – and every day this year – to make God proud by being ourselves. Remember, a second version of someone else is never as attractive as a unique version of yourself! God bless.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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