Do You Think of Yourself as a Paper Plate?

I find it hard to live with the “throw-away” mentality all around us. My mobile phone battery needs replacing, but all things considered, it makes more sense to buy a brand new phone. So you throw away the old mobile phone.

My dear grandson took our cordless phone into the yard, left it there, and of course it rained didn’t it? How much to fix? Ten dollars more than to buy a new one. So the rain damaged phone got thrown into the bin!

I still haven’t got used to paper plates. Yes I know that you use them to save washing up dirty dishes, but it seems such a waste to throw them away - you know global warming and all that!!! But I have finally been persuaded. So after being used, out go the paper plates into the bin. And after doing it now for a number of times, I don't feel any great sense of loss or regret.

Of course when it comes to other plates in our house, it’s a different story. They are kept in special places - only to be used on special occasions. We wash those (very carefully I might add!) when we use them, because they are made of fine china. They are the best we've got. And after drying them just as carefully, we put those plates away again in their special place.

In fact, if you drop them you're in big trouble. That’s right - banished to outer Mongolia (only joking). So what's the difference? Paper plates are cheap, practically worthless, right? You throw them away. Now, fine china on the other hand is expensive; it's too valuable to throw away - it is precious and valuable. But do you know which sort of plate most people feel like today?

I think most people feel like paper plates. They've been put down, they've been hurt, they've been neglected, they've been ignored, backstabbed, abused, and they feel pretty worthless. Others feel that they are only good for the scrapheap, because of their age, or because of some debilitating illness.

Yes, people feel like throwing themselves away. Maybe you've been doing that - and there are various ways that you can do it - cutting yourself off from people, giving up on study, a job, or a relationship. You could throw yourself away by taking addictive substances - drugs, alcohol etc. You could throw yourself away by thinking you are an absolute failure - by saying: “I’m no use to anyone - God doesn’t care for me, no one cares for me!” And here's what's so tragic about that.

God didn't make any paper plates! If you think you're not worth much, you're wrong about who you are. Anyone who’s treated you like you're not worth much doesn't know who you are either. The One who knows who you are is the One who gave you your life in the first place - your Creator. And here's how He feels about you.

In Exodus 19:5 we read: "You will be," God says, "my treasured possession." God says you are a treasure; you are fine china! You're not trash! You're too valuable to throw away. But there's more! In Ephesians 2:10 God says, "You are God's workmanship."

Now, workmanship isn't something or someone just thrown together, it's no accident, it's not random. You're a masterpiece; you're a handmade creation by the only One true God, who only does beautiful work.

But there’s more. Paul goes on to say what you are designed for: "...for good works He prepared in advance for us to do". You are uniquely designed to make a unique difference in certain people's lives. But there's more. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, "You were bought at a price, therefore honour God with your body."

Wow! That’s a far cry from being throw-away paper plates! God says you're His treasure, His workmanship, and the one He paid a lot for. You can tell how much people value something by how much they're willing to pay for it.

Well, God paid for you, with the blood of His One and only Son, Jesus, and even though you had left God’s ways, and even though you were a sinner, He wanted you back so much He sent His Son to pay the death penalty in your place. You are very expensive!

Don't believe the lies in your brain that keep telling you you're a paper plate, that you're worthless. Don’t give in to the temptation to throw yourself away. You are fine china! You have been created for a special purpose.

If you feel like you're not worth much, then it's time to pay a visit to the Cross where Jesus Christ died for you. That's how much God thinks you're worth - the life of His Son. God has made us worthy in Christ. You need to come to the Lord, who has said you are precious, a real treasure, and who has made that very clear by dying on the Cross for you. God makes no paper plates, only  fine china. You are His treasure - never forget that. Grace and peace....

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