Today’s Scripture: Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Jeremiah 1:5

It’s hard to try being something we’re not. When God made the sparrow, He made it small, light, and quick. It can dart through tree branches better than a taxicab driver weaves through traffic in New York City. The tiny bird is known for the pretty chirping sound it makes and for its distinct brown and white color. It is a beautiful creature.

Now contrast the sparrow with the oriole. When God made the oriole, He gave it a bright yellow and black color which easily stands out. This bird is bigger, brighter, and more noticeable than the sparrow. Most would say it is more beautiful than the sparrow.

Both the sparrow and oriole are beautiful birds in their own right. But they are beautiful in different ways. If the sparrow tried to imitate the oriole, it could not even come close. The same is true of the oriole trying to become a sparrow. They are what they are because God made them that way. That is the way God wanted them to be.

You will never see sparrows and orioles walking around with an inferiority complex. You will never see them depressed, holding their heads in their wings, because they because they wish God had made them differently. Unfortunately, though, you will see many people unhappy with the way God has made them. Most people wish they could change something about the way God has made them; they wish they were taller, thinner, had a smaller nose, different hair, or darker skin. We see men who want to be like women and women who wish they were men. The same goes for businesspeople, athletes, medical professionals, and ordinary people like you and me. Very few people are content to be who they are.

We could all stand to learn from the sparrow and oriole. Maybe you are small like the sparrow; do not try to be an oriole. Maybe you stand out like the oriole; do not try to be a sparrow. God did not make a mistake when He created you. Accept yourself for who you are and let His beauty shine through you. His plan requires that you use the exact qualities He has given you. Don’t sell yourself short.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder