Standing Out and Fitting In

Did you ever have non-uniform days at school?  At ours, they were a major event, requiring weeks of advance planning and worried consultations.

At school at least, what you wore could really change your life.

It was a grand unveiling -where the shape of your jeans determined how much you were worth. Or a variation in the colour of your laces could send you plummeting from popularity to social obscurity.

A peer-judged audition for your place on the social ladder. A vindication for those who had It  – and those who Hadn’t A Hope.

No wonder I had a knot in my tummy the night before. We all did. Here was our chance to Express our Individuality. To burst forth from the chains of uniformed oppression and Show Our True Selves.

We wanted to stand out – but we wanted to fit in too. But here’s the thing, when it came to the day itself, we all dressed exactly the same.  Jeans.  T-shirt. Trainers. We looked more similar out of uniform than we did when we were in it.


And I’m still that girl today.

I want to be different.

And yet…

not so different that I don’t fit in.


I don’t just want to be part of the crowd.

But in another way, that’s precisely what I crave. A sense of belonging.  To be someone who fits.


Is it possible to be special – and yet part of a community?

To stand out – but to also fit in?


It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Ephesians 4:11-16



4 thoughts on “Standing Out and Fitting In

  1. The Ephesians passage paints a ‘vision’ image of the church, but it would have been pretty hard to find in the 1st century Corinthian Christian community, or Galatia, or Colossae, or even Ephesus itself come to think of it (when we take Christ’s words in Revelation – what an inditement!)… there are always the ‘us’ elements – the running after the quick fixes (doctrinal, worldly or just plain old habits), the being taken in by this ‘ministry’ or that ‘new thing’, the sheer hunger to have everything on our own terms (including ‘prophets’ that tell us that’s fine) – it all amounts to our own ‘ol time religion’. Mercifully, God always has something better in mind!

  2. Yes, I often think if I was making a church I’d do things very differently…just as well God’s in charge and not me!

  3. I managed to forget a non uniform day once. Too wrapped up in my own little world of needing to do well in exams and not really engaging with anyone else along the way. I really did stand out for a while…
    Somehow miss the uniform though. Makes life so much simpler first thing in the morning. Even if it did look a total shambles in itself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *