January 7

Isaiah 43:1-7

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” vs. 1b

While there are a multitude of differences among humans we have one thing in common. All of us crave affirmation, a sign of affection or love, some indication that we have value just as we are. Too many have been beaten down by discounting cultural messages that come from every direction. For some it starts in childhood with bullying or absent parents and continues with physical and emotional abuse of every kind. The world just has a way of beating down the weak and savaging the vulnerable. Even those who have had loving and caring parents eventually run into the rampant negative imaging that colors so much of what we see and hear. Sometimes we even imagine that we are unlovable! The prophet offered the people of Israel a word from God that resonates deeply in our hearts too. “Fear not,” he says to them and to us, “for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Think of it! We have value just as we are! God knows us by name and has claimed us. We don’t have to be billionaires or superheroes, we can be bumblers and muddlers, even failures at all we do, and we are still precious to God. Oh that family, friends, and strangers would hear these grace-filled words from our lips every day of our lives! It’s the most precious gift we could possibly give!

Thought for the Day: What does affirmation do for me?

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