Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:21
God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Thomas had reason to let out some wild whoops. He should have been celebrating the fact that he made it all the way to the middle of eighth grade without ever getting anything lower than an A. But from the nasty face he was wearing about his first B, you would guess he had been sentenced to summer school for the rest of his life.
Thomas had gotten an A-minus-once-way back in the fall of sixth grade. When his parents saw that report card, they didn’t brag about the five A’s. They nagged about the one A-minus. His parents told him to work for “real” A’s, the kind without minuses. After that, Thomas vowed never to get another “bad” grade. It was his only hope of feeling accepted by his parents.
The great thing about belonging to God is that you don’t have to be a whiz at everything to get him to like you.
If you never succeeded at another task, in fact, God would still accept you. He doesn’t sit up in heaven grading your day. He isn’t counting up points you have to get for him to accept you.
Your real worth is already carved in stone. It can’t be changed. It doesn’t go up or down with how well you do at school or how much other people like you at the moment. God defines your worth, and he says you are as valuable as the life of his Son, Jesus. When you are sure of that truth, several fantastic things happen.
• You feel okay about failing. God frees you to try—and to fall on your face! Once you know God won’t reject you, you can stretch to reach your full potential and find out what you are capable of.
• You do better when you succeed. Realizing your true value lets you put your focus back on God, who loves and accepts you just as you are. You don’t have to take credit for what you accomplish. You don’t worry so much about getting people to applaud you.
And there’s one more thing. You don’t have to pant like a puppy dog to get people to like you. It’s wonderful to do well. But you don’t have to excel to win other people’s praise. And you don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love. You already have his approval!
TALK: God accepts you totally because of Christ. How does that make you feel?
PRAY: God, thanks for accepting us just the way we are. Help us to show your kind of acceptance to others.
ACT: Pick a friend or family member today. Look for opportunities to compliment the good he or she does rather than focus on the bad.