a blog from our pastors and staff
Welcome to Pastor Dan's Advent Blog. This is the 4th of 13 blogs, and I encourage you to read them in order. We are exploring ways to rediscover the child-like faith we once had.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. -- Ephesians 2:8
Yesterday, I talked about enjoying the gift of Jesus. Today, I want to talk about being a special gift. One of the most difficult things people struggle with is how to correctly view themselves. But once we get a handle on that, life becomes much clearer. First of all, should I view myself as special? After years of struggling with identity questions like this, I have come to my conclusion. The answer is “yes.” Certainly, more needs to be said for a truly accurate view of ourselves, but let us start with the positive. You are special (in a good way). Most children believe that when they are young. Children will dance, jump, sing and draw. And each time they do, they look around to whoever is watching like they have just done the most amazing thing ever. Why is that? Because they understand they are special. As we get older we compare ourselves to others and stop believing that, it is hard to see yourself as a gift.
God sees you as important and gifted. You are made in His image. However, there are a few other things we must keep in mind. First of all, your special-ness doesn’t make you any more or less special than anyone else, because they too are created in God’s image. Secondly, your special-ness doesn’t mean God owes you anything or that you deserve God’s forgiveness. You are special to God because He says you are, not because you did anything to deserve that title. Finally, your special-ness doesn’t mean you aren’t also sinful and in need of Christ’s redemption.
Let me try to give you a simple image. Imagine yourself as toy given to a child at Christmas. Every child wants something different. One child wants Buzz Lightyear, another child wants Woody and another child wants Jessie (if you haven’t ever watched a Toy Story movie, you need to). Like a special toy to a child, we are special to God. But not long after we came out of the packaging, we broke. We stopped working right. And that is why Jesus came. The broken toys are repaired. We are no longer stuck on the island of misfit toys, (if you haven’t ever watched Rudolph, you need to).
You are special, your neighbor is special too, but we are all broken. Thankfully, God loves us too much to leave us broken. That is why Jesus came.
The next blog will be posted Tuesday, Dec 10. Please feel free to comment below.