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KEEPING THE FAITH | Love yourself into destiny

There was a popular affirming expression in the 1970s that declared, “I know I am somebody because God does not make junk!” There is great truth packed within this simple assertion.
The Rev. Lewis W. Macklin

There was a popular affirming expression in the 1970s that declared, “I know I am somebody because God does not make junk!” 

There is great truth packed within this simple assertion. God is the Master of taking fragmented pieces of life to create His most cherished and beloved masterpieces which form humanity.   

One of the most well-known biblical personalities is David. He is introduced to us in sacred text as a young shepherd who is feisty and fearless. He would successfully challenge and kill Goliath. His journey from being anointed king and assuming the position was very colorful. 

David was a warrior and a worshipper who pursued God. He also had personal failings and imperfections, yet God acknowledged him as a “man after His own heart!” Hence when David says in Psalm 139:14, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well,” he acknowledges the awesomeness of his Creator. David did not suffer from lack of self-esteem, However he was not bragging on himself but openly expressing his thankfulness to God. 

Admittedly, the human anatomy remains one of the most complex and unique organisms in the world, and that complexity and sophistication reflects the mind of its Creator. Every aspect of the human body, down to the smallest cell structure, reflects that it is fearfully and wonderfully made.

David understood that he, as we are as well, a Designer’s original. He continues on in verses 15-16 declaring, “You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 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.”

Recently I had one of those moments where I realized I had spent way too much time looking in the mirror with a highly critical eye. Yet, it did not stop there! Reflectively, I even began to recount my own past failures and missed opportunities. The coulda, woulda, shoulda mental chatter was stifling!

However, in that precise moment God spoke into me and reminded me that I was loved. I actually felt His gentle rebuke and redirection reminding me that I was created on purpose for a purpose.

All of us are on the slow and delicate journey toward self-love. This journey is tedious and at many times painful, but we press on because we know the reward will be worth it. We should know the alternatives to self-love are far too damaging.

My "ah-ha moment" actually helped to transform the way I look in the mirror. More than that it is helping me to cultivate a new appreciation for what God has done, is doing and will do in my life.

Self-hate will destroy forward momentum, but self-love can propel you to another dimension. I encourage you to see your reflection through God's eyes! Love yourself into destiny. There are plenty of reasons to love yourself.

I am an avid recycler. My wife and children would consider this disclosure greatly understated! I try to repurpose, if possible everything that I use. I actually call this my superpower.  Sometimes what we determine to be trash to be discarded is actually a treasure to be embraced.

Such as the case in this familiar reflection, "The Touch of the Master's Hand” that was written by the late Myra Brooks Welch.

'Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.

"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three."

But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.

"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."

"And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin.

A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.

But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.

—Rev. Lewis W. Macklin II serves as the lead pastor of Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, chaplain for the Youngstown Police Department and local coordinator for the African American Male Wellness Walk of the Mahoning Valley. He resides in Youngstown with Dorothy, his partner in marriage and ministry. They share the love and joy of six children and seven grandchildren.


— All biblical citations are New Living Translation unless noted otherwise