Not long ago, I posted on my personal site about the beauty of living outside a box.
A 20-something friend named Amy responded by saying, "I believe that a lot of times I put myself into a box. I say, I can't influence so and so...I'm only 22!"
Only 22. It struck me how often we are defined by a number.
I thought back to my own conversation with 2 of my friends, in recent weeks. They were talking about their weight, giving a number. It was lower than the one I was used to seeing on the scale. Suddenly, I felt defined by my 3 digits.
There are other numbers I've felt defined by, through the years. Like Amy, my age was one of them. I can remember being 23 and thinking, "I just want to serve God, but no one wants to listen to me because of my age." Again, the number defined me. Again, it felt stifling.
Universally, numbers threaten to define us. Our grades in school. Our number of awards. Our hip measurements. Our birth order number in the family.
Even in some retail stores, we get in line and take a number. For the time we wait to make our purchase, our identity becomes the number we are holding.
How much we need to know: we are not just a number.
We are not just the size of our pants. We are not just our birth date on the calendar. We are not just an SAT score or an average "5" in a sea of super model "10's" on some unrealistic, made up scale.
Our potential is unlimited. Our purpose cannot be measured. Our worth cannot be put on a scale or live inside a box.
God would never limit us in this way. In Psalm 138:8 it tells us, "the Lord will fulfill His purpose for me." If we were meant to just be a number, He wouldn't waste His time with this vast promise.
My prayer for us today is this: that we will see ourselves outside the definitions of a number...that we will never let a size, a weight, an age, a score, or a date on a calendar tell us there is something we cannot do or become.
Friends, we are more than just a number.
Lisa Whittle has never liked numbers, which may explain her loathing of school math. If feeling defined by her pants size, she promptly cuts the tag out of them. You can find out more about her life outside the definitions at www.lisawhittle.com.
For more devtionals like this one, check out Proverbs 31 Ministries