This week I’m reminded of the book “You are Special” by Max Lucado. It’s a timeless classic and one of my favorites. In it, we follow the journey of a Wemmick named Punchinello (Wemmicks are small wooden people carved by Eli). With the help of Lucia, Punchinello discovers that peer-acceptance is a ridiculous pursuit, and that Eli’s approval is what really matters.
Over the years, I’ve thought of Punchinello many times. Similar to his friends (giving stars and dots for approval/disapproval), our society also ranks people. From personal pursuits to “Like” buttons and “followers”, we can spend a lot of energy cultivating approval. Even in church work, an image can be sought more than the actual ministry we’re called to. So at the end of the day, what makes one special? Is it a skill-set, appearance, or intellect? Perhaps, it’s the general likeability of one’s demeanor? Actually, it’s none of those.
We humans are special because we’re made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27) with an eternal soul as He forms us (Psalm 139:13). Even the people I would rather avoid are made in His image, and Jesus came to offer new life to all who will trust in Him. The Bible says:
“…God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8 NKJV
So what should a daily “special” life look like? It’s:
- Remembering that God’s opinion matters more than anyone’s
- Looking to scripture for the definition of valuable pursuits
- Praying and seeking for the right mindset each day (Rom. 12:1-2)
- Teaching our children to seek God’s approval before peer-acceptance
- Helping others find their true worth in Christ
- Treating people with respect and grace as Jesus did
- Recognizing the unborn, the infirmed, and the elderly as having innate worth
Like it was with Punchinello, peer-pressure can be tough; but when it’s all said and done, their opinions aren’t what will matter…it’s His that will.