People. Why can’t we all just get along? Can I get an Amen?!

Were you one of those kids in high school who had friends in every clique but never had your own group? I was. I had a few close friends from different groups. I loved them all, but they never meshed with each other.

That always confused me because I could see how everyone had something in common even though they had many differences.

That’s when I fell in love with paradoxes. According to Merriam-Webster, a paradox is something that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is true or possible.

One of the most profound paradoxes I see in God’s Word is that:

You are as unique as God made you and the same as everyone else.

Understanding and embracing this paradox is the secret to enjoying your Christmas with all the different personalities and points of view.

Let me explain.

Here are a few ways that you and others are unique.

1) Perception: This is the lens in which people see the world. Your perception is as unique as your fingerprint. The Bible shows this in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John. Each disciple had a different perspective of Jesus’ ministry. Each viewpoint was important because it provided a fuller picture of the ministry that helps the reader to better understand and relate to the gospel.

2) Gifts: Each one of us has unique talents and abilities which are our gifts to the world. No one else does what we do the way we do it.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. – Peter 4:10

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. – Jeremiah 1:5

3) Story: Each person has a unique story. They are the only ones who are living their lives. God’s Word is filled with story after story. Adam & Eve, Moses, David, Ruth. Much of the Bible is short stories that help us learn what to do and what not to do. Stories help us relate to others, show empathy, and put ourselves in their shoes which helps us to give others grace.

Here are some ways that you and others are the same:

1) Desire for fulfillment: Everyone on this planet has a natural desire to be fulfilled because this is how God made us. He put the desire for Him in our hearts and without knowing Him, people look to their circumstances or others leaving for that fulfillment leaving them empty. Many people are seeking their “one thing” when God is offering Himself as their everything.

He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart,… – Ecclesiastes 3:11

2) Emotions: Everyone has emotions! This is not disputed. The part that gets twisted is when people say emotions are bad and not from God when in fact they are a gift from God. Emotions are part of how you communicate with God and each other. Yes, you need to manage them, but don’t ignore them! King David is a great example of working through his feelings. Below is just one example!

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. – Psalm 139:23

3) Change: Everyone in their life has been through change. Think about it. You switch from elementary school to middle school. You get an allergy to a food and have to change your diet. You lose someone close to you. God also expects us to change. That is what repentance is about. Turning towards God and away from what takes us away from Him.

So now, when you’re at dinners, events, and in conversations this Christmas let your understanding of this paradox

You are as unique as God made you and the same as everyone else.

guide you and help you to give grace to others that you may not get along with or like. My prayer is that you are able to enjoy your Christmas season. May this article give you new eyes to really see people as Jesus does. When you do that, you can help change the world a person at a time.