Spiritual Practice


Loren Mitchell

When God called the prophet Jeremiah, God assured him, “I have known you since before you were born, and I have plans for you.” God told Jeremiah that he was more than just a kid; he was a beloved child of God.

We too are God’s beloved children, but we are also human and perfectly imperfect. Wherever we turn, we are bombarded with advertisements that tell us who we “should” be. Society judges us on the basis of what we accomplish, and we begin to wonder: Did I make first chair in band or get the lead in the play? Is my GPA high enough to get into college? Is my list of extracurricular activities hefty enough to merit a scholarship? If we stop and listen, we can still hear God saying, “You are more than the sum of your achievements. You are more than ‘just a teenager’ with little to show for yourself. You are a beloved child of God.”

In The Hunger Games, Peeta says to Katniss, “I just don’t want them to change me . . . turn me into something I’m not. . . . If I’m gonna die, I wanna still be me.” I hope we can adopt the same attitude, embracing who we are, just as we are. In doing so, hopefully we will begin to understand success through God’s eyes.


Find yourself in the story of the prophet’s call in Jeremiah 1:4–10.

PRAYER: Gracious God, we feel a lot of pressure to be successful according to society’s standards. Help us to forge our own path and to love ourselves for exactly who we are: your beloved children. Amen.

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