Comparison is the thief of joy. -Theodore Roosevelt

There’s only one in this wonderful world / You are special. -Fred Rogers

We’ve all been there, where we feel less than others, or undeserving, or inconsequential.

For years…for decades…I’ve striven and performed for appreciation and affection. I’ve tried to earn love and respect. From my childhood, I was conditioned to work for approval…and even then, I didn’t always get it. But to me, that meant I had to try harder.

To some extent, society tells you that you have to earn these things. These are worldly ways of thinking, and they inflict massive emotional damage on the ones who believe it. It’s so toxic and insidious that it seemingly runs in your blood, becoming part of you. You believe it so much that you don’t even realize it. It becomes part of your world view.

Self-worth seemed to be tied to who cared enough for you…at least if you acted the right way. It seemed to be tied to what things I possessed. Neither ever satisfied.

Then, He woke me up.

At 40 years of age, God decided I was ready to wake up. He pulled the wool off my eyes…and I was aghast at the terrible world around me, but also slowly started to learn in my heart how absolutely and unconditionally loved I was. That I didn’t have to, nor could ever, earn His love…but that it was given freely to me, and was more than I could ever expect. More than any person could ever give me.

I also learned that He made us unique, each with a purpose to fulfill in this world. Each of us is His masterpiece to carry His light to the corners of the earth. And that is a healing light, to bring love into the darkest corners, to dispel the shadows and lies the enemy envelops people in.

Once you see the light, you never want to return to the shadow.

You are covered in His fingerprints

Embrace, to the smallest detail, everything that God has created in you. Don’t put yourself down or be ashamed of any part of you. He fashioned you perfectly in His image, and to go forth so the world would see Him in you. You are covered in the fingerprints of the Potter. How could you be anything less than priceless, when He made you in His image?

Today’s soundtrack

Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Fingerprints of God” reminds us that what the world tells us is not at all what God has made in us.