A message for all times: "God. Don't. Make. No. Junk!"

Have you ever been stuck in a mindset that kept you feeling you were slogging through life?

Been there, done that.

That's Blog. speaking. 11.02.10where I was when I gave up a long-ago Saturday morning to go hear a speaker I knew nothing about except what the ad told me. (What's more, I paid for the privilege.)

Right on time this "famous expert on mental health" bounded to the front of the large hotel meeting room as the one-hundred or so of us, a mixed group of all ages, sat waiting for our promised "transformation". 

Our speaker bounded onstage with a smile and briefly introduced himself. Then he said, "I have great news for every one of you and here it is: "God. Don't. Make. No. Junk!"

(My first thought was, "What is this? Did I sign up for two hours of being yelled at?)

Then he switched techniques. He whispered, then spoke, then once again shouted these same five words at us, apparently to hammer home his point.

Every time he spoke on another facet of his theme, often including Bible verses, he would wind up with this: 

"God don't make no junk! Say it with me now: 'God. Don't. Make. No. Junk!'"

By the last time it seemed everyone in that auditorium was yelling it back at him

I long ago forgot his name, but I never forgot his five-word slogan.

After he finished I watched as the crowd thinned, curious to know what others thought about our intense morning. Their faces telegraphed that most of them shared my mood. I hadn't found our speaker particularly impressive, yet I felt lifted up and at peace.  

As I drove home I found myself repeating those five one-syllable words over and over: God. Don't. Make. No. Junk!

Sure, it was the mood of the moment. But I already believed the truth of those words before I walked into the place because I believe what Bible verses like this tell me.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he [or she] is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.   -2 Corinthians 5:17

That includes every person who believes in Jesus Christ. Every person.

Sometimes we all feel like "junk," don't we?

Unworthy. Unlovable. Lonely.

It's not a new phenomenon that a lot of kids and teens suffer with this perception.  

We may assume that today's youngsters and teens are super self-assured and intelligent because they appear so confident. More often than we might guess that's a mask they put on around the rest of the world--even loving parents, teachers and friends.  

Inside they may feel like junk when they struggle in school or in personal relationships and be yearning for someone who will see them and love them.

Unfortunately, often we adults don't help much. We're inclined to nag about grades and homework. Especially with teens we keep asking how do they expect to make it into college if they don't get it together?

(Have we ever had a caring conversation and let them talk? Maybe they don't want to go to college ... )

We fall into the same trap with others we care about

We zero in on every little thing that isn't quite right--and point it out. Then we revisit the complaint(s) every chance we get. Too often we broaden out to remind them of every mistake they ever made, no matter how long ago.

We're like those radar-guided missiles that never deviate from their target. 

It's good to remember that hearing those same old, same old painful messages can quickly carve deep grooves in a person's self-esteem.

We're human, so we forget. That's why we need to remind ourselves that always, we get to choose.

You and I can't change the world, but we can make our own world better

A good place to start is by fastening our attention on what's right in the people around us--and telling them. Often.

Let's keep our eyes open for when they do something right, then say so.

This practice serves as great reinforcement with parenting and training our children, too. Catch them doing what's right and say so!  

The glow on their faces will tell us that speaking honest words of love and appreciation is what they want most. At any age.

Start small, even the smallest thing for which you can honestly give them a pat on the back. If you can't find anything, look harder.

Don't we all long for encouragement?

That's what it is when someone important to us gives us a pat on the back.

That's why these five words still make a good slogan. For any age. And for ourselves:

God. Don't. Make. No. Junk!

Anytime we're feeling "junky," it's easy to go back and read these glorious words:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...     -Psalm 139:14

That's true even on our worst days, because God. Don't. Make. No. Junk!

Wishing you joy in living,

Lenore


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