Dear Teenager and Twenty-something,
Do you know your value?
You were made with purpose
You – your body, soul, and spirit were “formed” and “skillfully wrought” by God with each day of your life fashioned in detail like the pages in a book. (Psalm 139) You – your existence, your features, and your abilities are not a mistake. God doesn’t make mistakes. He made you and thoughtfully placed you in a body, a family and a place on this earth.
God desires that everyone could live in a safe, caring environment where a love for Him is nurtured. But, some experience harm and damaging situations at the hand of other’s lack of wisdom or outright sins. Evil often gets the upper hand in this dark world, which isn’t God’s intention. His will is that all choose what is right and do good. God wants to heal the hurting and the broken; He plans to put an end to all suffering and establish a new earth with no pain or sadness.
You are a child of God; His own special people created to live a pure, faithful life. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. Don’t look down on what God created and loves! If you doubt God and complain about His handiwork, your being and your situations, you miss out on good works and the blessing they bring over your life.
You are perfect
Not perfect in the sense of a high IQ, flawless skin and a great personality. But perfect for God’s amazing plan for your life and those you can help along the way. Perfect for good works throughout the day that only you can do: choosing good when faced with temptations, praying for a friend who is going through a difficult time, sending an encouraging text, blessing a coworker or family member. These are works that have eternal value. Trying to attain a perfect body, social media image, or “cushy life” is empty and useless for eternity.
Not perfect in the sense that you do everything right the first time, haven’t fallen in sin or aren’t tempted to sin. But perfect because God views you with eyes full of hope and love even though He sees your faults and weaknesses. He sees what you can become if you continue to choose what is right and good, how valuable you are to His work and the kingdom of heaven. You are perfect for the work of salvation that God wants to accomplish in you. Let God guide your life and form you through trials and you will become “perfect and complete, lacking nothing” in each chapter of life. (James 1:4)
You are loved
God’s love is stronger and deeper than human love and emotions. In God, you have a close friend who knows you and understands you better than anyone. He sees your heart and desire to be good; He sees your struggles and how you are drawn to things that aren’t good. He is always there to listen and help when you pray to Him with a sincere and humble heart. “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.” Psalm 34:15.
Have others mistreated you? Do you feel alone, unimportant or unwanted? God’s love is healing when you place your life and thoughts into His hands. Did your plans fall through? Has a hardship happened to you or a loved one? You aren’t loved any less by God; His love is unconditional. God isn’t unjust; He allows tragedy to fall on good people and bad people. God wants to teach you something through trials and lead you to Him. He is jealous for your precious spirit and wants to save you from sins that make you unhappy.
You are unique
There is no one else like you … in a really good way! You fill a special spot in this world and in God’s work. Maybe you don’t like something about the way you look or one of your personality traits. Maybe you don’t excel at something like sports or music or it seems like you don’t have many skills compared to others. But, who can be a better example and helper to your sibling and your friend? Who can express an act of kindness like you? Who can share something encouraging like you? Who can fill needs maybe only you and God can see? You are “custom-made” for the good works God has prepared for you. Use your energy, ideas, abilities and personality for the good right where you are in life, at home, at school or work, with your family and friends!
You are the apple of God’s eye
God is following along closely with your life as a caring, attentive Father. You are very dear to Him and He longs for it to go well for you. His thoughts towards you are of “peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Your decisions are important to Him. God can’t make decisions for you, but He believes in you and is eager to help if you ask Him. He is for you as a protector, a mentor, a helper, a friend.
Have you fallen in sin again and again or made a huge mistake and feel undeserving? God is quick to forgive those who repent and never gives up on you or becomes dissatisfied or impatient. King David trusted God’s lovingkindness when faced with enemies. He prayed, “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress me, from my deadly enemies who surround me.” Psalm 17:8-9. You can do the same and take refuge in God’s Word when you are faced with dark thoughts of discouragement and condemnation. Feelings and thoughts of worthlessness aren’t true! Believe and practice the truths in God’s Word and you will become free.
Your life has incredible value
There is nothing more rare and important as someone whose confidence is in God and obeys His commandments! They are the true “stars” in this world. They will be revealed as sons and daughters of God when Jesus returns. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14.
Pray to God to open your eyes to the value of living for Him, and you will begin to see your true worth and the worth of those around you. Live with purpose, according to God’s plan for your life, and your good decisions will have eternal significance. Look at yourself and the others through God’s eyes and life is hopeful and bright!
All the best!
From a former Teenager and Twenty-something.