I really enjoy online shopping, but the one thing I do not like about it is that you never know what it will look like until you open the package. On the mannequin, it looks amazing and desirable, but when you open the box it can be a whole different story. The material may be weird, the size of the item may be smaller than what you expected, or you may just decide that the item does not suit you like you had hoped. 

The most interesting part about this concept is this: moments before you open your package you have the highest expectations for your item. You think, ‘I am going to look absolutely flawless in this,’ or, ‘this is exactly the color I need,’ but in reality, it is the complete opposite of what you originally thought.

Ironically, people do the same thing with us. 

How many times has someone pictured you as one thing when you were really something better than what they expected? Some people have a hard time realizing that our greatness goes beyond what they see in front of them. And when how we act conflicts with how they thought we should act, they tend to force us into the box they squeezed us into. 

You might have a teacher that thinks you are always going to be a C student and may barely make it into college. You may have parents that always see you as a future doctor when God called you to be a pastor. Or you may be in a bad relationship where your significant other always thinks you will be a ‘nobody’ when God made you a ‘somebody.’

In high school, people loved to put me in a box. I was very reserved and soft-spoken, so automatically people had one-sided assumptions. They never thought that the quiet girl who sat in the back row was actually very animated on stage, had a witty sense of humor, loved to sing, and was an excellent public speaker. 

Unfortunately, being put in a box did not stop in high school. It continued throughout college and into my past relationship. I remember my ex-boyfriend asking me, “How are you going to be a motivational speaker and be passive?” 

It was during that time in my life, I realized that anyone will put you in a box, but the important thing to remember is that God created us all for a unique purpose. 

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. (Joshua 1:1-8 ESV)

When people put you in unnecessary boxes, focus on what God thinks about you. Because the great thing about God is, He can take us to higher levels beyond what any man can fathom.
 
More importantly, He knows what it is like to be put in a box. We do it to Him all the time. 

Think about all those moments when you trusted God to mend a friendship but did not trust God to get you in school. Or think of a time when you trusted God to give you a job but did not trust God to give you the right spouse.  

Jesus is a prime example of someone that was put in a box by nonbelievers. They did not want to believe that He was the Messiah, but Jesus had to continue to focus on what God called Him to do. 

You will die in your sins if you don’t believe that I am he. (John 8:24 NCV)

Only God can break us out of the box that people leave us in. There are so many doors and opportunities in our lives that we are going to have access to but we just have to trust that God knows what He is doing. 

Do not let the opinions and judgments of others deter you from fulfilling what God has called you to do because they are NOT going where you are going. Do not expect people to understand who God made you to be because they were not present when He designed the blueprint for your life. 

So whether we are home or away, our aim is to please Him. (2 Corinthians 5:9 ESV)

Regardless of the people that come your way, always remember that it is about what God wants and not what man wants. So if I may, I would like to challenge to you to break out of the box with God because once you do, you are truly free.

If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36 NIV)