One of the best feelings in the world is to be recognized for who we are and what we do. One of the worst feelings is to be misunderstood and disregarded.  It’s funny to me how people can judge us by our victories and our failures.  Most people who are victorious in whatever area have had many failures getting there.  We remember most people for their significant accomplishments or current popularity, not for how many times they fell flat on their face.  In fact we should be less fickle than that. 

There is a serious problem in our world today.  We are shallow and selfish and promote people for their good looks and charm instead of their integrity and character.  I had someone tell me that because of the hard stuff I had been through I was damaged goods.  At first I got mad, then I thought about it.  They were right.  All of us are damaged goods.  I can’t name one person that hasn’t been through something life altering.  It’s what makes us who we are.  The experiences we have in life make us or break us.  If we allow the tough times to teach us, then we come out better in the end, if we don’t then we are bound to repeat our failures.   My point is that someone who presents themselves as perfect, or superior is in fact a liar.  They aren’t living in reality.  I would much rather follow a leader who is transparent and real, baggage and all, then a self righteous con man who is self anointed and self appointed. 

All of us have failed, and guess what?  We are in good company.  Anybody that makes any difference at all in this world has had their fair share of hard knocks.  We can look at a host of Biblical characters like Moses, who killed the Egyptian, yet went on to deliver his people.  There is  Joseph who was arrogant and a bragger, betrayed, falsely accused, thrown into prison and damaged, ended up the 2nd in charge of Egypt.  How about Kind David?  He was an adulterer and murderer yet God called him a Man after his own heart.   What gives?  Even Jesus was considered a failure.  He was supposed to come, overthrow the government and set up this amazing kingdom.. and he was beaten, crucified on the cross and died.  Look what happened with him!

Not only do we see folks in the Bible, but there are scores more of them in the history of our Nations.  Men and women that defied the odds to overcome and do great things.  They didn’t let failure stop them from being who they were supposed to be. They got back up when life knocked them down. They took what they experienced and used it to catapult them into the next phase of life, or died trying.  

I planted my sunflower seeds in potting soil a few days ago.  The seeds began to rot and die in the soil as the sprout used them as nutrients to shoot up and out of the dirt.  I snapped a picture of the old seed broken and hanging on the end of the new shoot.  It made me think of how the seed was left over from the dead plant that we grew last year.  It was damaged goods.  Look at the life it brought. 

We are all damaged goods, and we should be proud of it.   We are all broken, and we  need a savior to help us be all that we can be.  We should  take all the things that have hurt us over the years and let them make us stronger.  God never asked us to be perfect.  We don’t have to be Wonder Woman or Superman.  In fact the whole reason Jesus came and did what he did for us was so that imperfect, broken, hurting people could be used by a perfect God.  We are victors, not victims. 

Are we ready to get out of the pit of self pity and what others think of us?  It’s time.  Many of us could be doing great things and helping others in ways we can’t imagine, if we would simply be ok with being broken.  Broken things bring life. Let’s embrace our brokenness and join the damaged goods club.

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Comments
  1. Curtis says:

    Rick,
    Thanks for the encouragement. I was feeling a bit runover and wondering who, if anyone, got the license plate number off the semi that has my DNA on its bumper. Today … well let’s just say that you have helped to refocus on the Creator.
    Hi, my name is Curtis, and I am dammagggeeedddd goods.

  2. Curtis says:

    Little did I know how relevant this message would be for me. I am an elder at the church I attend. This Sunday our worship was awesome! After service I usually go forward to be available to pray with any who would seek it. A lady brought her granddaughter (20years old). This young woman had just been released from spending a week in the hospital after being brutally raped. My heart broke as she shared her testimony. While in the hospital she had heard a whisper from God who told her that he loved her and that she was not alone. Part of my message to her was that we are all damaged goods…and yes, she is not alone. I have never been so aware of the presence of God in such a tangible way. She gave her life to Jesus and is on an incredible journey of recovery in the arms of Jesus.

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