Cleaning out the junk drawer one day, I came upon some small colorful tickets. Memories came flooding in. When my son Bobby was younger, in an attempt to retrain him and reinforce his good behavior, I created tickets that said, “I am GOOD!” Not only did he get tickets for good behavior, which he could eventually cash in for a small prize, but every time he looked at them he was reminded that he is a good boy. We believe what we see, what we hear, what we tell ourselves. He needed to know that even if he was getting in trouble, he was loved. He had
what it takes to be good. He is not defined by his actions; he is a good boy who happens to be doing bad things. He is inherently lovable and thoroughly capable of change. He didn’t have to berate himself for his failings; he simply had to learn to accept that we loved him anyway.
After pulling another handful of crumpled, colorful tickets out of the drawer, I was suddenly stopped in my tracks. We need that, as Christians. As adults. Each one of us needs ongoing reminders that even though we are sinners, there is something in us of value. God sees it. He put it there Himself. He wants us to remember that. Not to exalt ourselves, not to fill ourselves with pride, but to know that we should not let the stresses and worries of this life weigh us down. We are strong. We are able. And that’s because He said we are. By carrying His cross up
the hill to Calvary, He told us we were worth dying for. When we think our sins are too big to be forgiven, we belittle the price of the payment he made in exchange for them. We already know that when He speaks, things become. He spoke the earth into being. He made life, and He brought light. He also said His sacrifice would forever cover our sins, erase them from His sight. And so it is true. We simply have to learn to accept it.