“Are you wearing Riders®?”
Shame echoed across her words, plunging a dagger of embarrassment into my middle school heart.
For six hours I had pulled at the tail of my shirt attempting to hide the label of my jeans. But now, as we walked up the stairs my efforts failed. The very thing I didn’t want anyone to know had been discovered.
I was wearing Riders®.
Desperate to remain accepted, I reduced the reality of my jeans to a joke. She laughed. We reached the top of the stairs, and we both turned, going our separate ways.
Minutes later the dismissal bell rang. I gathered my belongings, headed outside and made my way onto Bus 20. Greeting the driver, I found the first available seat and sat down, but not before her words leeched to my heart.
Riding home I rehashed the experience in my mind. “Why did I forget about my shirt?” I vowed to never wear those jeans again. Once home, I stuffed them deep into the dirty clothes and questioned if I’d ever fit in.
I wish I could go back to that day. I’d look at my middle school self with all sincerity and say, “you are not defined by how others see you; you are defined by Jesus.” I would assure myself that my worth is found in Christ alone and not the clothes I wear.
1 Peter 2:9 tell us, “… 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.”
Our culture defines success by the things we have or the work we do, but the truth is God never intended for His children to be defined this way. Rather, He created us to be defined by His Son, Jesus.
Feeling left out or not good enough can affect anyone at any age. The temptation to compare ourselves to others is great, but God’s Word will always be greater. Therefore, we must attach our identity to who God says we are. And, He says… we are chosen; we are a royal priesthood; we are His special possession! And that, my friends, makes you and I extraordinary!
Are you struggling with self-worth? Let these truths sink deep into your heart today.
- “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10
- “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14
- “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15
- See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! – 1 John 3:1