There’s a green sticker on me, do you have one too?
You know those green stickers that when you walk into the store any of the objects that have been nicked, dented, scratched or cracked is determined as “damaged goods”. These are the objects in the store they just want to get rid of because they are deemed as having less worth than the objects at the front of the store that are still in mint condition.
I am looking down on my shirt and trying to figure out how long this sticker has been here, the sticker that says “I’m on clearance”. The object that the longer it sits on the shelf the more stickers they place on me reducing the price with each attempt to see if someone will walk by and say that I have value.
Anytime you make a fresh purchase that sticker peels of easily, but when the item has been sitting awhile the sticker takes rubbing alcohol to fully get it to come off. The sticker almost becomes a part of the object. How long have my stickers been here?
I am trying to figure out when I got my first one. When did I move from the front of the store to the back? Was I born with it, or did I keep getting scratched and attacked by the world until someone saw all the dents and looked at me and just put that sticker on the back of my shirt before I could realize it was there?
Did I get a sticker when my Dad died and left me to feel abandoned, did I get a sticker with every relationship that manipulated and took advantage of my heart, did I get a sticker every time I got a grade that didn’t measure up with the perfect person sitting next to me in class? Did I get a sticker when I hurt someone else, when I messed up and hurt my friends? Did I get a sticker when the people I trusted the most dented my soul, or maybe even the times that I fell down and scratched someone else’s soul?
There are a million reasons with every sunrise that I have for the stickers on my body, the scratches on my soul, the dents where I have been kicked, and the bruises of being taken advantage of. I am not innocent though. I’ve had them inflicted on me and I have caused them on others, but they are there. And I am sitting here in the back of the store if ever you want to walk back here to see me.
Or maybe you are sitting here too. Maybe you are on the shelf with me. Maybe you have more stickers than you know what to do with. Maybe the scars and scratches have become bigger than you can hide and you are worried if anyone will ever see value in you.
Let me stop you right there.
We are looking in the wrong direction. You and I, looking out when we need to be looking up and looking within. You aren’t an object.
Just as a one hundred dollar bill doesn’t change its worth with the marks or wrinkles it gets over time, so do you, so do I. And just because we feel like a pair of jeans with a bunch of holes in us doesn’t mean that we don’t cost the same or even more than those jeans without any holes.
In fact, you have worth even with the scars on your body so much that even Jesus returned from the dead with the scars on his body from the cross. Jesus came because we have scars, because we have scratches, because we are dented and bruised, and because we are loved. Jesus lived the life he lived, died the death meant for us, and conquered the grave that we were destined to reside in because he went to the back of the store, grabbed you off the shelf, walked up to the counter and said, “I want to pay the full price”.
He paid the full price for you, and looked at the person behind the counter and said, “You know what, I want everything on that back shelf as well, do you have a bag big enough for that? No? Ok, let me go home and come back to pick them up”. (You have to go to John 14:3 to fully understand that one)
That’s how much value you have, that’s where your worth lies, in the price it cost Him when He paid it. Those stickers on your back have a meaning to the world, but we need to stop looking to the world to find our worth, it won’t give you the answer that was already paid.
You are beautiful. You are not overlooked. You are not being walked past. You are not seen as damaged goods. You are seen as lovely, as wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). You are seen with potential from the Father that knew you before the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). You are seen as a Child of God, and somehow I need to learn that today too. Will you do that with me?
Just one day, let’s try this out for one day, just to see how it feels. Let’s live today with the value that Jesus sees. If we can do it for one day, maybe we can try two, maybe even three. Let’s take this challenge together. See yourself the way He does, and then attempt to look around and see everyone else that way too.
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