You are precious

January has flown by… mainly because I was traveling. At the beginning of January I visited Cape Town, South Africa with my husband on a business trip. You can see some of my photos here. I still have more photos to post from this trip! Then last week I was a member of the teaching team on Kim Bolton’s Girlville Getaway Cruise 2014. We sailed with Carnival to Nassau and Little Stirrup Cay. I spoke on keeping our hearts healthy through prayer and exercise. Here is a link to my book and Facebook page.

But, before January ends, I wanted to give you this month’s YOLO “thought”.

As I got into my car one recent day, I caught the end of a BBC World Service report on the radio. It was from the girls’ school in Pakistan where Malala Yousafzai was a student when she was shot by the Taliban for her efforts in campaigning to improve education for girls. The reporter was interviewing girls who are now at the school. She asked one girl what she wants to do when she grows up.

“[I will] be the Chief of Army Staff,” the girl answered. This is the highest-ranking position in the Pakistani Army. In circumstances where it would be easy to doubt her worth, this girl is instilled with the belief that she can achieve what seems like the impossible. She, and Malala, have high aspirations for themselves—influenced, no doubt, by their teachers and parents.

Do you live each day with the same conviction as these girls: that what you think, say, and do is of value—or do you doubt your worth?

Relationships, experiences, and our own thoughts can shape the opinions we have about ourselves. If these things infuse us with confidence, then we can be as positive as the Pakistani girls. But we may have been told that we fall short, or we may have been treated in ways that make us feel worthless. Or maybe we compare ourselves to other people, and see them as better than we are; and then our sense of worth can diminish. These perceptions can make us feel inadequate before God, too. It’s easy to live not knowing our full worth.

But this is not how God wants us to live. He wants us to be fully aware that we are valuable to him. You are precious to him.

YOLO—so know that you are precious.

Sunrise golden

Replace the negative voices with the truths that your heavenly Father speaks about you. Here are just a few:

Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you (Jeremiah 1:5 MSG).

You are so loved by me! I picked you out as mine from the very start (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

I have chosen you and have not rejected you (Isaiah 41:9 NIV).

I have called your name. You’re mine (Isaiah 43:1 MSG).

I have gathered you in my arms and carry you close to my heart (Isaiah 40:11).

You are precious and honored in my sight (Isaiah 43:4 NIV).[2]

You are so valuable, I sent my son to die for you (John 3:16-17), so that you might have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).

Read these words as many times as you need, until you understand with your heart and mind that you are precious to God. Then live today with high aspirations. With God, you can do the impossible.

[2] These scriptures are taken from a list provided by Tessa Afshar.

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