Four Plus One Can Be Much More Than Five

Be What You Are-Not What Others Try to Make You

Jesse, when you tell him he's five

Jesse, when you tell him he’s five

My grandson Jesse just had his 4+1 birthday.

I know this sounds strange but Jesse refused to be five. He’s got his reasons, I guess, but neither bribery nor people reminding him of reality was able to change him.

“Jesse you’ll have a party if you’re five!” “I’m four.”

“You’ll get gifts.” “No.”

“You can go to Chucky Cheese’s to celebrate if you’re five.” “No.”

Finally he relented when he found that he could be 4 + 1 and still get all the goodies, so Jesse recently celebrated his 4 +1 birthday.

Jesse, you tell him he's 4+1

Jesse, you tell him he’s 4+1

Now we’re usually thrilled with birthdays until we’ve had about 25 of them. Jesse marches to the beat of his own drum, though, and he’s willing to stick to his guns even if that causes him to lose loot. I’ve got to admire him. Probably more of us should be like that.

Have you noticed some of the hair styles today? In theory, a good hairstyle flatters you but some of these ‘dos’ just draw attention. I mean, the top of some people’s head looks like an explosion in a mattress factory. But, if everyone else wears it, so will most of us.

I say, “Give us more Jesses.”

At school and at work, lots of people want to squeeze you into their mold—talking like them, joking like them, dressing like them, flirting like them, goofing off like them, cheating like them. God’s got a different mold for us. “Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on…” (1 Thessa. 5:14, The Message)

“Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.” (Col. 3:22-25)

God created each of us for a reason. We’re not here by accident. Sometimes friends, mama and daddy, co-workers and lots of others try to pour us into their mold. I’m thankful for a dad who was a great mechanic but who saw that I would probably starve to death as a mechanic.

So, he encouraged me to go to college. My younger brother is just as intelligent as me (more) but he is different. He became an excellent mechanic like my father.

Parents can see their kids gifts and try to encourage them in those directions. One of the greatest gifts in life is to do what you’re created to do and not just what makes you the most money or gives you the most prestige.

Katie Davis was a Tennessee teenager with a heart for Africa. So, at the age of 22 she found herself as the foster mother of thirteen Ugandan orphans. Why would this beautiful young woman “waste” her life as she is?

“People ask me quite often why in the world THIS is what I have decided to do with my life,” says Katie. Her answer: “Because this is what makes my heart sing. Yes, it really is complete selfishness; this is where I am happiest. Because I believe that today is all I am promised. Because I believe that Jesus is coming back, and this is what I want to be doing when Jesus comes.”

Ande Fanning observed in an online article.“Some don’t understand the call. Some call her crazy. Some can’t fathom wasting time and energy in such difficult circumstances, much less rejoicing in or choosing that life,”

Katie’s doing what she was made to do and not what others expect her to do. I don’t know but I wonder if Katie had any 4 + 1 birthdays.

Well, old Jesse has bowed to pressure and decided he was going to be five, but he held out quite a while. I’m already looking forward to see how it’s going to be for 5 + 1. That should be interesting.

The question I have for you and for myself is: “Are we doing what God created us to do or are we just floating along, acting like everyone else?” There’s more to life than just trying to conform and accept everyone else’s definition of joy.

Sometimes 4 + 1 equals more than 5.

Have you ever felt you missed something good from the Lord because you were afraid of being different?  Share it with us.


“An eternal promise for a bowl of beans! Seems rather stupid after the beans are gone and your belly is full, doesn’t it Esau? People make the exchange all the time, though.”


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