There are a few books from my childhood that stick out to me because of the impact they made on my life, and one of those books is by Max Lucado and called “You Are Special.” This picture book tells the story of the Wemmicks—little wooden people who believe their sole purpose is to put star stickers on the pretty, talented wemmicks, and gray dots on those who are ugly and talentless. According to the townspeople, the main character, Punchinello is the ugliest Wemmick with the least talent… and they share this with him by giving him all the gray dots his little wooden body can hold. One day, Punchinello meets someone who introduces him to Eli, the woodcarver who created all the wemmicks, and together they show him that no matter how other people judge his worth, Eli (aka God) loves and cherishes him just as he is.
Can you imagine what the world would look like if everyone understood this simple truth? That no matter how many likes you get or don’t get, what people say about you when your back is turned, or how much money your organization thinks you’re worth, God’s love for you never changes and you never stop mattering to Him.
In today’s more-connected-than-ever world, it seems like we’re more concerned than ever about what people think of us. We feel like in order to matter, we have to do, do, do, and that failure isn’t an option.
What a stressful and discouraging way to live! One of the many timeless truths about God is that we don’t have to do anything in order to be loved by God and to matter to Him. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” And Psalm 139:16 says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” We matter to God so much that He wrote out every single day of our lives before we were even a thought in our earthly parents’ minds. There is nothing more or less we can do to earn God’s love.
To put it in more modern terms, here are 13 things you don’t have to do to matter to God.
You don’t have to go into the mission field or work at a Christian organization to matter to God.
You don’t have to be the perfect person to matter to God.
You don’t have to be a virgin to matter to God.
You don’t have to be in a relationship to matter to God.
You don’t have to be the best … at anything to matter to God.
You don’t have to look like everyone else to matter to God.
You don’t have to make a certain amount of money to matter to God.
You don’t have to be happy all the time to matter to God.
You don’t have to go to college or grad school to matter to God.
You don’t have to know what you want to do for the rest of your life to matter to God.
You don’t have to have a sinless life to matter to God.
You don’t have to say “yes” to everyone all the time to matter to God.
You don’t have to have the perfect relationship with God to matter to God.
Once we stop caring how we’re viewed by others and start to see ourselves as God sees us, the stickers people try to put on us cease to matter and stop sticking. And there aren’t enough star stickers in the world to show how much we matter to God.