People have moments where they wish they had a greater role in the world around them. We see other people around us, or in stories from the Bible or in the news, and think we’d like to be more like them. More influential, more effective, more powerful. For example, what if I could be a prophet or an apostle? Or in our modern world, maybe a “social media influencer”? “Be yourself” is often the advice for finding contentment when we feel like this, but the Bible says we are “to be conformed to the image of his Son.” So, should we be ourselves, or should we be like Jesus? What will give us contentment? While not a full answer, the call of Jeremiah the prophet offers some help.
Jeremiah was not a prophet by accident, because Jeremiah 1:4-5 says:
“Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’”
Here, God calls Jeremiah both to conform his ways to God’s, and also to his own specific task. Like Jeremiah, every Christian is known by God and called to do His will. Only God knows why we were each made the way we were made, and in a way God calling us to serve Him is like Him saying “stop living like you’re an accident of a random, purposeless world.” It is because we were made, not just evolved, that we have purpose, and God has “consecrated” us to that purpose.
But each of us was made differently, also on purpose. Unlike Jeremiah, my fellow travelers on this blog probably aren’t prophets, and that is part of why Jeremiah needed to be a prophet. His job wasn’t to call everyone else to be a prophet, but to serve everyone else by calling them to find their own purpose in God. Jeremiah wanted all of God’s people to take whatever He has endowed them with and dedicate it to Him. Likewise, being “conformed to the image of” Jesus does not mean we should all be carpenters, but that we should apply His righteousness to every task He puts before us.
Therefore, God’s people should never live like they are an accident. We are all a valuable work of creation, made to find our good and His glory in His amazing design. We will find our true selves in the One who made us, and God’s people will have unity in Christ’s character, combined with diversity in the infinite creativity of the people He created.
Be yourself, and also be like Jesus.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
 Romans 8:29