Bible Reading: Hebrews 13:5-6
God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Have any of the following embarrassing situations happened to you? Can we have a show of hands?
• You tried to tint your hair and it turned fluorescent orange.
• You bent over and your pants suffered a revealing rip up the backside.
• You grew a red zit on your forehead that looked like a third eye.
• You were told your clothes must have been cut from your grandma’s curtains—and the style doesn’t work nearly as well for you as it did for the kids in The Sound of Music.
• You discovered that somebody taped a sign to your back that said, “Loser. Kick Me.”
• You smelled an awful odor nearby, then discovered it was you.
You wouldn’t like walking down a crowded hallway in school in any of those unfun conditions. You would watch friends and enemies alike scurry away. You would hear whispers and worse. You definitely wouldn’t feel confidence oozing out of your pores.
When we wonder whether we are going to feel accepted, we feel insecure. When we stare in the mirror and all we see are shortcomings, we start wondering why anyone would ever want to spend time with us.
But you don’t have to feel that way. Why? We are accepted by the One who matters most—Jesus Christ. He takes us as his friend just as we are—fluorescent orange hair, red nose, ripped pants, mismatched socks, and all. He’s promised never to ditch us or forsake us. He wants to be with us no matter how we might feel about ourselves.
Now think hard about what this means. If Jesus Christ—Creator of the universe-accepts us, what does it matter if nobody else accepts us? That doesn’t mean we stop needing people, but we can stop needing their acceptance to make us feel okay.
When you realize that Christ accepts you unconditionally, you don’t have to focus on yourself. You can shift your attention to others. Almost all of your friends feel insecure, whether they act that way or not. They need someone to help meet their needs by reaching out to them and pointing them to Jesus. Knowing that Christ accepts you lets you welcome them as friends the way Christ has welcomed you.
TALK: How does knowing that Christ accepts you make you more accepting of others?
PRAY: Jesus, we’re grateful that you accept us completely.
ACT: Most people won’t believe you if you just say you accept them. Do something today to demonstrate acceptance to someone you’ve been unkind to in the past.