Why You Are Special in His Eyes
- Mary Southerland Journey Ministry, Inc
- 2021 30 Jun
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:14-15, NIV)
It was my first day of teaching second grade. While standing at the classroom door greeting parents and children, I felt a tug on my skirt. I looked down into the beautiful blue eyes of Sammy, one of my new students. His mother, who was standing beside him, looked at me and said, "I guess you've heard about Sammy. Good luck!" As she hurried away, Sammy said, "She's right. I'm dumb and mean and can't read or write."
Lisa was a tall, blonde and beautiful young woman with zero self-confidence. Lisa was the family joke because she was constantly dropping things or falling on the stairs. "Klutz" became her nickname at home and quickly caught on in the youth group and church where her father was the pastor.
A young wife and mother sobbed out her confession that she had just ended an affair. "He made me feel important and special." A talented singer and pianist, she vowed never to sing or play again because she was damaged goods.
I often hear and see the same prison described by people living in the grip of failure and defeat for one reason or another. I want to share some good news with you. God can set you free to be all He created you to be. A healthy self-image is not rooted in pride, and it does not exalt self above others. In Romans 12:3, Paul clearly says, "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Be realistic in your opinion of yourself. Success comes when we learn to accept God's evaluation instead of our own - when we give Him permission to make us what He created to be and when we begin to understand who we are in His eyes. How do we do this? Let's look at six steps we can take to understand who we are in the eyes of God.
Step One: Check the Label
I love a good sale, don't you? In fact, I am tempted to think that a 75% off tag may very well be a sign from God. However, I have learned that you can save money in the long run if you check the label. Let me explain.
We needed a new sofa. It had to be a certain color and style and cost a certain amount. I headed for the nearest furniture outlet, where I narrowed my selection down to two sofas. Both were on sale, and both would work in our home. I saw the salesman coming. Before he could say a word, I quickly turned to him and asked, "Which one of these sofas would you tell your wife to buy?" The man immediately pointed to one of the sofas and said, "Definitely that one." When I asked why he had chosen that particular sofa, he replied, "Check the label. The one I chose was made by a company known for its quality work. The other sofa is a cheap imitation." We can judge a product's potential and value by looking at the one who created it. You are valuable because you were created by the hand of God. His design of you and His plan for your life is second to none.
To cower or crawl in inferiority is to say to God, "You made a mistake when you made me." God doesn't make mistakes, and He never has to say, "Oops!" You were created in His likeness. You are valuable to God. God knows your name and loves you. You are His masterpiece and have been validated by God Himself.
Step Two: Embrace the Plan
While painting in the city park, an artist spotted a beggar sitting across the path from where he was working. Thinking of God's handiwork in every human being, the artist painted the man as he imagined he could be and then called the beggar to see the painting. "Is that me?' the beggar asked. "That is the way I see you," replied the artist. The beggar stared at the painting. With tears in his eyes, he said, "If that's the man you see in me, then that's the man I will be!" God created you in response to a unique plan He has for your life. As you read the Bible and obey His truth, that plan will unfold. I have struggled with my identity and value for a big part of my life. Fear of failure once kept me from dreaming new dreams. No more!
My dreams seem to get bigger with every year of life that passes, and I really believe it is because my new perspective of who I am is more accurate than it has ever been.
I am a daughter of the King. I belong to God, and He loves me. No one can take my place in the Father's heart. God chose me to be His very own. I am His masterpiece. I am indispensable to only Him.
That is my prayer for you, that you will know and live out the truth that in God's eyes, you are special. God really can set you free to be all He created you to be.
Step Three: Be Yourself
We should always be looking for something new to learn, an area where we can grow, and changes that need to be made. Sit down with your mate or close friend and ask for a realistic evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses. Constantly search for gifts and abilities on which you can work.
Don't be afraid of change. It is a sign of life and growth. Change what needs to be changed, accept what you cannot change, and quit whining about what's left!
Don't waste another minute trying to be someone you were never created to be. Stop questioning God's design for your life. When an old man from the mountains of North Carolina was asked how he made such extraordinary wooden carvings of dogs, he replied, "Well, I just take my knife and a piece of wood and carve away everything that doesn't look like a dog."
Learning to see yourself through the eyes of God is like "carving away" everything that is not part of the original design – God's plan – and then learning how to accept what remains.
Step Four: Guard Your Mind
We are bombarded on all sides by the media, family and friends, co-workers, and even enemies who have a certain identity they want to assign to us. We have a choice. No one makes us feel inferior without our permission. We will become what we allow our hearts and minds to dwell on. An old adage says it well: "You can't keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair."
It is impossible to avoid destructive thinking entirely. We will be tempted. We will have negative thoughts and temptations, but we do not have to allow them to dwell in our minds. God has given us a "garbage disposal" for the mind.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." (Philippians 4:8, NIV)
We once lived in Miami, Florida, a place where ships come from all over the world. However, before a ship is allowed to dock, an inspection team goes aboard with one assignment. Find every bit of contamination on board that ship. If contamination of any kind is found, the ship must be quarantined until it is cleaned and inspected again. The ship is then allowed to dock. We need to control our thought life in the same way.
Step Five: Control Your Tongue
Our words either build up or tear down. Scripture tells us not to curse others because they are made in the image of God. So are we. As a mom, I constantly warned our children about the danger of critical words. I wanted them to learn how to encourage others with their words as well as have a healthy picture of who they are.
One day, while standing in front of my bathroom mirror, I began berating myself for something I had done. Seriously, it was stupid, and one of those times when I had opened my mouth, and the wrong words came out. I didn't see our son, who was quietly standing in our bedroom door where he could hear every word I said. "Mom, who are you talking to?" he asked.
I sheepishly replied, "I was talking to myself." He thought for a moment and then offered a convicting observation, "Boy, if I talked like that, I'd be in big trouble!" I was immediately reminded of the words in Psalm 141:3 (NIV): "Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips."
Words are like seeds. What we plant will grow. If we sow destructive, critical words, we will reap a negative and critical life, but if we sow words of truth, we will reap a life of peace and purpose, knowing who we are in His eyes.
Step Six: Be Patient
Weeds spring up overnight, but it takes years for a mighty oak to grow. Today, you can take the first step toward gaining a new perspective of who you are in Christ.
Our Father says it this way in Philippians 1:6 (NLT), "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."
I pray that these words have helped you catch a new glimpse of just how precious you are to God. If you were never wanted or planned by human heart and mind, rest assured that you were wanted and planned by God Himself.
He is with you and for you, my friend. He believes in you and has a plan that will prosper you and give you hope. Turn to Him. Trust Him. You are special in His eyes.
Photo credit: © Getty Images/Aaron Amat
Mary Southerland is also the Co-founder of Girlfriends in God, a conference and devotion ministry for women. Mary’s books include, Hope in the Midst of Depression, Sandpaper People, Escaping the Stress Trap, Experiencing God’s Power in Your Ministry, Fit for Life, and 10-Day Trust Adventure, You Make Me So Angry, How to Study the Bible, Fit for Life, Joy for the Journey, and Life Is So Daily. Mary relishes her ministry as a wife, a mother to their two children, Jered and Danna, and Mimi to her six grandchildren – Jaydan, Lelia, Justus, Hudson, Mo, and Nori.