Everyone needs a caddie, not just a golfer. If you don’t golf, you might wonder what a caddie is. Professional golfers use them on a golf course to carry their bag to lighten their load. The caddie also gives advice to the player about distances, which club to use and hazards that are seen or unseen. But I believe the real value of having a caddie is the moral support. They encourage their golfers throughout the round, always saying positive things to them to keep their spirits up. Not surprisingly, if you have a positive attitude, you’ll play better.

We need a caddie in life too. If you’re married, hopefully your spouse serves as your caddie, your cheerleader, the person who will say positive things to you, especially on this journey. I’m so blessed that my wife, Deb, does this well for me. Or maybe you have someone—a girlfriend or boyfriend, partner, close friend, or family member—who serves as your caddie. Don’t underestimate their importance. You’ll need that encouragement.

But you also need to be your own caddie, to believe in yourself. Remind yourself how good you are. It’s easy to forget— especially now—that God created us:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).

And if you don’t know this already then listen very carefully, you are amazingly and wonderfully made. In Psalm 17:8 the psalmist says we are the “apple of his eye”: Keep me as the apple of your eye. Best of all, he loved each of us so much that he died for us:

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. ( John 15:13).

Can you be loved any more than that? I don’t think so.

Dr. Bob Rotella is a sports psychologist. In his book The Unstoppable Golfer he wrote about the importance of self image, what we think of ourselves and the impact on positive performance. He writes “Try to understand first that you are what you have thought of yourself and you will become what you think of yourself from this moment onward.” He goes on to say, “Your brain is a faithful servant. On some level it remembers all the things you think about yourself.” What do you say to yourself about you?

When your caddie notices you are down, he or she might give you a pep talk, but that person isn’t around all the time. Every day, you need to be your own caddie. Fill your head with positive thoughts. Nothing negative. Remind yourself how good you are. Say positive things like “Some company is going to be lucky to get me,” or “If they didn’t want me, they are really missing out.” Remind yourself, “God has something awesome in store for me; I can’t wait to see what it is.”

God created you; he loves you; he wants nothing but the best for you.

This week’s blog is an excerpt from How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them , By author Dale Kreienkamp.

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