<, >, and = (Lessons from Mathematical Symbols)

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Insecurity has been something that has plagued me for most of my life. I was overweight from the time I was a 6 year old boy, and I was 9 times out of 10 the one who was overlooked to be picked for someone’s team when playing on the playground or in PE. (Because I was overweight, I really preferred the options of not having to exert myself or being invisible, but PE class was a grade, so I had no choice but to put forth a little effort.) It’s amazing how this last year has revealed to me how some mathematical symbols have played out in my life.

For most of my life, I have felt like less than <. I felt like that because of my weight and lack of athletic ability as a child and teenager. I continued to feel like that as a college student because, once again, I was not athletic, still overweight, and not a great conversationalist with my peers. Those who actually remember me from college have some pretty weird memories (I pray they don’t drop them as comments under my social media😂). On into adulthood, I was bullied by a few pastors I worked for, and I was pretty convinced at one point that I had mistaken my call to ministry. Becoming a divorced man made life a lot tougher. I felt “less than” once again because 9.9 out of 10 churches wouldn’t touch me with a 39 1/2 foot pole (could there have been a grinch on the committee?).

I’ll never forget the day this “less than” revelation dawned on me. I was eating breakfast with my pastor, and he said, “Matthew, you have no reason to feel less than.” Those words touched me deeply. He had not been the only one to affirm my calling on this side of divorce, but I needed to hear those words.

Dear friend, you might be feeling like you’re “less than” today. You may have been belittled, abused, cheated on, bullied, let go from your job or whatever, but the God of Heaven who is greater than all loves you deeply! He loves you so much He sent His Son to die for you. He wants to reveal His love to you each moment of every day. He is extending that invitation for you to come to Him and find a new identity in Christ – an identity that is greater than words can express. What you find in Christ cannot be equaled by any other!

I did not share this post with you today for anyone to feel sorry for me. I shared this because I know many other adults are struggling with this very thing. You’re not alone! God is ready to reveal the truth to you about yourself. Let Him dictate your identity!

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