Recognizing our purpose
Has anyone told you lately that you’re special? You are. But not because I said so, but because God says it over and over again in Scripture. For the past several weeks, I have been reading the book of Ephesians. My pastor challenged our church to read and re-read Ephesians daily until the end of the year. By doing this faithfully, I’ve really absorbed what Paul is saying to the people of Ephesus. And one of his most important messages is that as God’s people, we are special.
I had the unique privilege of growing up with an earthly dad who made it very clear to me that I was loved by him. He made me special and cherished. Not everyone has that advantage. I’ve read baseball great Darryl Strawberry’s account of his father telling him how worthless as a child he was, telling him he’d never amount to anything. Somehow Darryl grew up recognizing his God-given talent as an athlete and had great success in sports, however, the big hole in his heart from having an abusive father impacted decisions in life that would ultimately come close to destroying him. In spite of years of a depraved, empty lifestyle, Darryl came to understand that God had created him for something greater than baseball. God had a purpose for him, and because he was created in God’s image, Darryl finally understood and accepted that he was special.
Paul tells us in Ephesians that we were chosen…chosen for a purpose. Not only do we need to believe that truth personally, but we must communicate that to our loved ones. When is the last time you’ve said to your child or grandchild that they are special? Is it a part of our daily routine to build others up? I know I need to be more intentional about that…not just telling people how great they are and how much I love them, but that God loves them and they are special because He created them for a purpose. How can we fail when we believe and live that?
I can only imagine how Darryl’s life would have been different if his father had told him how special he was as a child instead of hammering the message of worthlessness to him. Perhaps Darryl would have been saved from a life of drug and alcohol abuse and adultery. Imagine the impact on his teammates had he understood from an early age his worth in Christ, and that he was special NOT because of his athleticism, but because God had created him for a purpose.
Well, the good news is that lives can be redeemed. We get lots of do-overs. God makes beauty out of ashes; He restores what the locusts have eaten. It’s never too late. Today let’s purpose to be the bearer of good news to those around us: each of us is special, created by Him for His greater purpose. What a great way to live and influence others for Christ!