20 February 2014
When i was younger, my main concern was whether i fit in with my peers at school. Was i a cool kid or was i a geek or was i a nobody. I’m sure school hasn’t changed that much for people in this sense, because no matter how much time passes or how society evolves, being accepted is always going to be a top priority for many people.
Whether it’s at a job, an organisation, within a family, a team, whether you’re a celebrity, a chef or just a small time employee somewhere, feeling accepted is important.
So what does it mean to be “accepted”? I suppose it can mean a few things, but here are some thoughts – to be valued, to be noticed, to be welcomed, to fit in, to matter to someone, to be treated a-like and fairly, to be approved of, to be right with someone.
But sometimes, even after being “accepted”, we seek more – we want to not just be accepted, but to be of higher value (we want to be rich, have higher status), we want to not just be noticed, we want to be popular, being welcomed is not enough, we want to be the most important guest of honor, fitting in becomes a norm and we feel we need to stand out from the rest, we also need to matter to everyone as our egos inflate, we don’t want to be treated like everyone else because we want special VIP service – fairness is second-class. Being approved of or being right with others is taken forgranted and we get offended when someone doesn’t approve of us.
There is nothing wrong with all the above and it does happen to many of us, but what i must remember is that chasing after such things is like chasing after wind. We will never be satisfied and ironically, we may end up feeling “un-accepted” because we’ve not grown in the richness that comes from being “accepted” in Christ and the family of God.
When Jesus came, He came to remind us that our value was great enough for Him to willingly die for us. As far as being noticed goes – when we believe in Jesus we know we were chosen objects of His grace. We are welcomed into a whole new family of believers spanning all over the world – spanning even through past generations because Jesus said, “I am the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. I am not the God of the dead but of the living”. We fit in even when we are quirky and different because we are told that the body of Christ is made of different members of the body with different characteristics. We matter to God and we will all be on level ground without favouritism. But most importantly, we have a right standing with the Lord Almighty.
When i allow anything else, especially my pride, hover above those things that i am and have in Christ, i easily go into crisis mode and i am unable to rest in His peace.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Father Lord, I know i have the tendency to drift off and wander away from the acceptance and peace that i have in You. I let my heart be troubled over things of the world that You tell me are passing away. I forget to lean on the assurance and beauty of magnitude of who i am and what i have in You. So please keep my eyes and heart re-directed back into Your gift of peace, acceptance, assurance and love which is in Christ Jesus, my Lord.