… Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Since you are precious and honored in my sight and because I love you… Isaiah 43:1, 4 NIV
It was only a few words, but hearing them really hurt. "Skinny legs! Skinny legs!" I knew the words were for me. I'd been 5 feet 10 inches tall since I was about 12 years old. You'd think by the time I'd gotten to high school the taunts and teasing would have toughened me up or I would have been able to ignore the jabs about my height and weight. Nope.
I'd cry, and everyone around me would dry the tops of their heads and life would go on. But, I took those mean words to heart. Just a few cruelties can really topple a person's spirit. Not everyone takes teasing seriously, but for those of us who do, it can be a painful thing that actually shapes who we are.
But, the reverse is also true. Kind, gentle words can build up and not tear down (Ephesians 4:29). I find Jesus' words to me to be soothing, loving and kind. Certainly when I read God's Word, I am convicted of my sins, but I also find solace in the way He sees me.
The words in Isaiah 43 are a powerful reminder of who God says we are. He says He has redeemed us because we are His (verse 1). We are precious and honored in His sight, and He loves us (verse 4).
The world might wound us and leave us feeling neglected and mislabeled sometimes. But the Lord and His Word will always take notice of who we are in Christ. He loves us unconditionally and calls us redeemed in His name.
If we want to be whole, we need to look to the One who is Holy, not the world, to define who we are. But, when we get our feelings hurt or someone calls us a name, it might be hard to remember who we are in Christ. It might help to:
Oh Lord Jesus! Sometimes my heart hurts because of a comment someone made about me or a label I was given falsely. In my low moments I start to believe the worst things the world tells me about myself, and they are often not good things. Thank You Jesus, that You saw me worthy of being redeemed. You took the shame of the cross in my place and call me precious and honored. I know I don't deserve that title, but I am a child of the King of Kings and worthy to be called Yours. What a gift. Thank You! Amen!