They are more than just childhood capers and a fight against good vs. evil. In the famous Disney movie titled The Beauty and the Beast, we are shown how an unlovable monster become loveable. People can change when they see themselves for who they really are. A new creation. A child of God. Chosen. A royal priesthood. We must understand God’s genuine and deep love for us before we can love others. You see, the cause of low self-esteem is simple: Refusing to see yourself as God sees you.
Against a garage wall, we have a place where annually my husband measures our children to see how much they have grown. My kids swell with excitement as they see how big they have become. Invariably, however, my children always try to cheat when it comes to measuring time. They will stand real tall and try to stretch out as much as possible. If Dad is not watching closely, they will even try to stand on their tippy-toes. It never seems they are ever quite satisfied with how many inches they have surpassed from the previous year. They always want to be a little bit taller. They even try to argue and discredit that Dad did not measure correctly. He is frequently accused of using the yardstick incorrectly.
In all honesty, we are no different. We will never measure up to the standards set for us by ourselves, our parents, our society, our friends, or our banker.
Isaiah 43:4, “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you..”
1 John 3:1, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! “
Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;”
Before you accomplished anything…He set His love upon you. Your identity is secure in Him. It doesn’t matter whether you are tall or short, black or white, rich or poor–God knows you. And when you start to understand His great, unmerited favor towards you, it starts to show. God’s love will emanate from you and you will want to be involved in His work. Because there is no greater joy than being smack dab in the middle of His will, living full-heartedly for Him.
John Piper refers to this great joy as “Christian Hedonism” meaning we have been created to give God glory, living a life pleasing to Him. We have been pre-wired this way and therefore, this is what brings us the greatest joy. We bring God great joy when we are joyful in Him. For this, is right where God wants us to be!