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But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve are described as being naked and yet feeling no shame. There is much more to that line than two nude people walking around in a perfect world. Their nakedness was much more than skin deep. They were naked in an emotional, intellectual and spiritual sense as well. Nothing was hidden from each other and there was no shame.

Then that dreaded piece of fruit appeared and nothing has been the same. Ever since that time we have struggled with acceptance. We struggle to feel accepted by others. We struggle to find acceptance with God in the midst of our weakness. Most importantly, we struggle to find acceptance according to the standards we set for ourselves.

We do all sorts of things to feel comfortable with ourselves. Some of us make a conscious or unconscious decision to remove ourselves from circles where we feel badly about us. We find that it works and remove ourselves more and more until we avoid people at all costs.

Others of us use external things to make us feel good. Some of these are harmful to our bodies like drugs, smoking, sex or extreme behaviors. Sometimes we can use ‘good things’ like religion, social action, philanthropy or volunteering to make us feel better. Whatever we choose to soothe our feelings of inferiority is short-lived and requires a ‘bigger dose’ to accomplish the task.

God suggests we use a different approach. The next time the voices in your head remind you of your inadequacy, tell yourself the truth. Do it out loud if necessary.

You were chosen by God to be his special possession. He chose you knowing all about your weakness, your rebellion, your poor choices, your hate and your anger. He saw every flaw in your physical, emotional and spiritual life. Still, in spite of all that, He loved you enough to purchase you with his most cherished possession, His Son, Jesus Christ.

Don’t listen to the voices that tell say you don’t measure up. That is a lie of the enemy. You are special. You are chosen. God loves you above all things. That’s grace!

PRAYER: Father, thank you for loving me. Like Adam and Eve I’ve spent most of my life trying to cover up the things I’m ashamed of about me. I’ve tried to use so many good and bad things to make me feel better about myself. Empower me by your Holy Spirit to live with the realization of how special I am to you. Help me to live free of the emptiness shame puts on me. In Jesus name, Amen.

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