I have the January blahs! I began the year with all the normal enthusiasm that comes with a fresh start.
Three weeks ago, I had a writing plan that excited me, a healthy diet and exercise plan that seemed doable, books I couldn’t wait to read, family and friends who delighted me … I was full of optimism and happiness.
This week, I ran up against a wall of discouragement for no apparent reason other than a bunch of little things piled up one on top of another and I started to feel “less than.”
Not enough! Less than I want to be! Less than I believe I should be.
I decided I need a quick reminder of who I am in Christ. Maybe you need a reminder of who you are in Jesus, too. So … here we go!
Who You Are In Jesus
You are wonderful!
When I feel like I have the last few days, I can quickly think of a dozen ways I am definitely NOT wonderful.
Most of the time I go straight to the superficial . . . to appearances. And all I see are my imperfections.
I see spots, blemishes, wrinkles, and sagging skin. I have lumps and bumps in places I don’t want them and well, you get the idea.
I’m also well aware of my flaws when it comes to my thoughts, words, and actions.
I could share a long list of things that are not wonderful but I’ll spare you.
I relate to these words from Paul…
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.Romans 7:18–19
It’s reassuring to know that a pillar of faith, like Paul, did not hold himself up as the ideal of Christian perfection but let us know that we are not alone in our struggle.
And when you and I recognize our “less than” perfect qualities and characteristics we can embrace the words that follow…
What a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord!Romans 7:24–25a, 8:1–2, 8:38–39
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That’s grace! That’s love!
That’s who you are in Jesus.
It’s good news!
Because of Jesus, God looks past our flaws and failures with eyes of grace and love and He sees the wonderful you and me … He created us to be!
Whether you and I feel like it or not, we need to repeat the following often…
1. GOD MADE ME WONDERFUL.
I praise you because You made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What You have done is wonderful. I know this very well.Psalm 139:14 (NCV)
I love the way the MSG. says it…
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
It’s not about our feelings. Whether you and I “feel” it or not.
God says in His Word that we are made in an “amazing and wonderful way” … unique and one of a kind. Perfect for His plans and purposes. Out of all the possible DNA combinations, God chose 46 or 47 specific chromosomes just for you.
There are 8,324,608 possible combinations of chromosomes and each one contains dozens to thousands of different genes. The total possible combination of alleles (variations) for those genes in humans is approximately 70,368,744,177,664. This is trillions of times more combinations than the number of people who have ever lived. ~Reddit.com/AskScience
Who you are…
“You weren’t an accident. You weren’t mass-produced. You aren’t an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the earth by the Master Craftsman.” ~Max Lucado
2. And It’s Okay to Celebrate Being Wonderfully Made
Obsessing about our flaws and faults simply robs us of our peace and happiness.
I believe that’s something high on the list of things satan wants for us because if he can steal our peace and joy, he can stifle our ability to fulfill God’s plans and purposes for us.
The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.John 10:10
Jesus’ purpose is to give us a full and satisfying life.
When we stay focused on all we have and who we are in Jesus, we have everything we need to live the life He wants for us.
David followed the “amazing and wonderful” verse with…
I worship in adoration—what a creation!Psalm 139:15–16
You know me inside and out,
You know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, You watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before You, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
What a creation!
Known. Loved. Planned.
And in Jesus … Forgiven. Redeemed. Child of God.
That’s you! That’s me!
We are not known for our flaws and faults.
You and I are God’s marvelous creation! God’s loved and redeemed children!
Stop and Celebrate Who You Are
- Make a list of your greatest strengths and abilities. You’re kind. Smart. Funny. Musical. Artistic. Athletic. Strong. Caring. Helpful. Make a list of everything you do well.
- Make a list of things you like about the way you look. Just do it. Beautiful eyes. Cute nose. Strong arms. Dimples. Curly hair. Curvy figure. Find a minimum of 5-10 you can celebrate.
- Ask your closest friends to help you make your list. They love you. You’ll be surprised by the blessings they see in you and the things they love about you.
- Spend less time focused on yourself and more time loving others. Avoid lengthy sessions in front of the mirror and ask God to forgive your failures. Then focus on loving your people. You will feel better about yourself. I promise.
- Refuse to compare your appearance, gifts, or abilities with anyone else’s. Comparing is the thief of joy and peace. Don’t do it!
- Take occasional breaks from social media. Everyone puts their ideal on social media. If you find yourself discouraged while scrolling through posts . . . walk away for a while.
- Do your best and be at peace about the rest. Live today with enthusiasm. Then put the day behind you and start again tomorrow.
- Reject negative self-talk. Stop it! If it’s sin, confess it, receive forgiveness and celebrate God’s grace.
- Do something positive every day to become the person you want to be. Let God work in you to grow you for His purposes. Learn something new. Exercise. Eat a healthy diet.
- Limit your time with toxic and negative people. You can’t avoid them all but you can lessen their ability to discourage and defeat you.
- Be patient with yourself – think long term. Expect progress, not perfection. One of my favorite sayings is, “Baby steps are still steps.”
- Cherish values like honesty, integrity, kindness, etc. Follow the Golden Rule and treat others the way you want them to treat you.
- Speak a minimum of five positive and encouraging things to yourself every day. Remember Stuart Smiley’s quote, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”
- Do one nice thing for yourself every day. Take a long bath. Read a chapter of your favorite book. Light a candle. Use your good dishes. Celebrate today.
- Pursue a close relationship with the One who created you. Spend time in prayer and Bible study. Ask Him to help you become the best version of the person He created you to be.
- Ask God to help you see yourself the way He sees you. He loves you so much! The God of the universe calls you precious.
- Remember how very much God loves you. Memorize His promises to speak truth to your heart when you feel discouraged.
- Remember – God looks past the surface to the heart. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
Verses to Memorize:
Remember How Much God Loves You
Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. Ephesians 1:4
But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8
But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. Ephesians 2:4
The Lord your God is with you; the mighty One will save you. He will rejoice over you. You will rest in His love; He will sing and be joyful about you. Zephaniah 3:17
See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
Finally, it’s important to…
HAVE AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE.
All of those things that discourage and annoy you are temporary.
Your soul, the person God made you to be in Him, the person created in His image … that person will live forever.
You are God’s beautiful creation! You are someone to celebrate!
I needed that reminder today. Maybe you needed it too.
If so, you may want to write this down…
God loves me. He made ME for His glory, for His plans and purposes, and for eternity. It’s time for me to celebrate His grace, mercy, and love by remembering who I am because of whose I am. I belong to Jesus!
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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