When our twins were in 5th-grade or thereabouts, I had shirts made for them that read, “Same package, different gifts.”
The girls are identical. Their DNA is 99.9 percent the same. Doctors always have to leave a little wiggle room. It’s not as obvious today since the girls don’t live near each other, or run in the same circles, but when they were growing up, attending the same schools, usually in the same classroom and seeing the same 30 kids everyday, people were always confusing them for each other.
As parents we worried about how to give them a sense of their own identity. We read books. We talked to other parents. We studied their interaction. We tried different approaches. We, better than anyone else, understood that they might have the same genetic coding but they were not the same. They may have evolved from one egg, one sperm but they were not the “same.”
Last night I was invited to a home to watch a film called The Truth Project. It’s produced by Dobson’s Focus on the Family. I listened to Dobson a lot while I was raising my kids. His tools for parenting are more helpful than anything else I’ve ever read. I wish he’d stuck to that arena.
My initial thought about the Truth Project is that the film is way too static. It was a lot like watching a man lecture. Exactly like that.
But he said one thing that captured me. He talked about our “oneness” as believers. He gave scripture after scripture about being “one” with Christ, “one” with the Holy Spirit, “one” with each other. Uno Mystica, he called it.
How can a husband and wife become “one”? he asked his students. It’s a mystery.
I agree. I don’t know how it is we become “one” with the Father, “one” with Christ, “one” with the Holy Spirit, “one” with each other.
But I have observed that believers have often mistaken this idea of being “one” as being the “same.”
We think being “one with each other” means being clones of one another.
I might be “one with Christ” but I am not Christ. Shelby might be “one with Ashley” but she is not Ashley.
She is her own person. She has her own gifts. She is no more or no less than her twin sister. She is equal to her in every fashion, in her mama and daddy’s eyes, but she is not the “same” person.
The professor in the Truth Project said that part of the problem in society today is that everyone is looking for significance.
And the other part of the problem is that the church (that’s us) has denied them that significance. We’re so wrapped up in the package that we’ve overlooked the gifts altogether.
Dobson might do well to take a lesson from his own professor.