What does it take to be accepted? As a kid I read comic books from time to time. Occasionally I would see an advertisement from Charles Atlas – the famous body builder. The ad showed a BIG bully kicking sand in the face of a 99-pound weakling. The wimp’s girlfriend dumps him in favor of Mr. Bulging Biceps. Melancholic, the weakling reads the promise of Charles Atlas: “Let Me Prove I Can Make You A New Man!” The wimp buys the program and a metamorphosis occurs. With his newfound power he punches out the bully and wins back the beautiful babe.
Mr. Atlas was pitching a subtle lie: “Acceptance is found on the other side of a fine physique.” The spirit of Charles Atlas is alive and well! Listen to the infomercials. Read the print ads: Acceptance is found on the other side of a beautiful body, a bigger house, a better paying job, the accolades of your peers, or a fine automobile. If you will only “buy the program” you too can belong. Jesus offers something better. Acceptance is found in a person, not a program. Listen to the words of the apostle Paul:
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. (Ephesians 1:3-6 NLT)
God loves you unconditionally. In Jesus, he accepts you without reservation. You don’t need a better car, a bigger income, a more finely tuned body, another step up the career ladder, or even the kudos of your peers. In Christ you are accepted just the way you are. He chose you before he made the world. He has always planned to adopt you into his own family. You belong to his dearly loved Son.
That knowledge frees us to enjoy life, to take a risk without fretting about failing, or to be satisfied with an old clunker. In short, that knowledge frees us to be content.
FOCAL POINT: Today, every time you see your reflection in a mirror remind the person staring back at you that you are accepted by the One who matters most. Thank Him for it!
If you would like to receive this daily blog, click here.