The price of peculiarity
By QuaWanna Bannarbie
The diamond is a precious stone. Each diamond has its own peculiarity. Its peculiarity contributes to the value of it. The more rare and unusual a diamond is, the more expensive it is as well. The diamond reveals to us that peculiarity has its price.
In terms of diamonds, the price is the money we pay to possess these rare jewels. In terms of human characteristics, the price is the result of possessing character that sets you apart from others. It is interesting that we celebrate the peculiarity of diamonds, but as a human race we are often shaming the peculiarity of being who we are. I happen to believe that God loves peculiar people. But not in the sense that we think of peculiar. We recognize strange, weird, unusual and rare individual traits as that of identified peculiarity. But God’s sense of the word has less to do with how different we are in character but rather it is how different we are because of our relationship with Him.
There are several instances in the Bible where God’s people are described as peculiar. The first time I remember hearing the people of God described as peculiar was the release of the gospel singer Tonex’s album “Out of the Box” in 2003. His choir went by the name “The Peculiar People.” I was still a toddler in my Christian journey at that time, and I never heard the familiar words of 1 Peter 2:9 before hearing Tonex sing about it.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
The world is dumbfounded by the fact that our Heavenly Father placed himself on the image of man and involves Himself in everything concerning His people. Psalm 8:4-8 describes such perplexity perfectly.
“What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him. For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.”
The truth that God’s image is on us and His power accessible to us is of a peculiar nature indeed. It is a privileged belonging that is the original meaning of this word “peculiar” that defines the price of our peculiarity. In God’s word, Titus 2:14 reminds us of the price that was paid by Jesus Christ “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” We were bought with a price.
To share a bit of history about diamonds, a man dreamed of having the exclusive possession of mining diamonds. To achieve this dream, he paid a high price to become the sole owner of the diamond mines. As we reflect on this season of Lent in preparation for the celebration of Easter, may we think about the price of our peculiarity. No one else was rich enough to afford us. Our Heavenly Father paid a high price to have the exclusive possession of his special people.
I love that the Bible describes God’s people as peculiar. It is fitting. We belong to God. We are His diamonds. I also think it pretty genius that our God has His way of reminding us of what gems we are. You cannot spell the word DIAMOND without finding the I AM.
QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.