Bible Reading: Psalm 86:11-17
You, 0 Lord, are a merciful and gracious God, slow to get angry, full of unfailing love and truth. Psalm 86:15
Joanna’s view of herself couldn’t creep any lower. Listen to her talk: “I’m even worse than a worm,” she says. “A worm can crawl underground and hide without leaving a trail. I’m more like the ugly slugs on my patio. Everywhere they go, they leave this horrible trail of slime behind them. That’s what I’m like. I mess up everything wherever I go.”
That’s a sad self-image! It’s doubly sad because Joanna is a Christian. She’s clueless about her true identity. She isn’t a worm or a slug. She makes mistakes—like we all do—but she certainly doesn’t “mess up everything” wherever she goes.
If you are a believer who isn’t convinced of your true identity as God’s beloved, valued, competent child, the results in your life can be dismal:
• Tyrone has a fearful, always-in-the-dumps view of his world.
• Felicia sees new or unexpected situations as suffocating threats.
• Mitch takes total blame for all of his difficulties.
• Chelsea puts on a tough shell to scare people out of her life.
• Sammi can’t trust anyone who treats her nicely.
• David has a tough time accepting compliments from others.
• Lisa feels like her world is closing in on her, crushing her.
When you let one of those ugly views of yourself control your thinking, you let life push you around. You don’t try to change or challenge your world.
But when you’re confident that God sees you as lovable, valuable, and capable, you greet tough situations as opportunities to trust Christ to pull you through. You rely on God to give you power to help you change your surroundings for the better. You let other people into your life as partners who help carry your burdens. And you know that God’s plan is to do great things through you—and that you will accomplish significant things for eternity.
You might have moments when you think like Joanna. That’s when you can be sure that God understands exactly how you feel—and that he loves you completely. He is a compassionate God. He knows that you sometimes feel like a slug, but he also knows this truth: You are far better than slime!
TALK: What does it mean to you that God is compassionate? How could letting God’s compassion touch you remake your life?
PRAY: God, thank you for your compassion. Thank you for having a great view of each of us.
ACT: Help the people in your family spot when they see themselves as anything less than lovable, valuable, or capable. Remind them that they’re way better than slugs!