“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Eph. 1:5-6
Oh, how exciting it was as a child to learn about the Guinness Book of World’s Records! Talk about a challenge! Oh, sure, reading bits and pieces out of the book or learning about different people who had made it in there for various feats was exciting. But nothing was more exhilarating than imagining somehow I could make it in there. My fantasies about this were short-lived; clearly countless people had real reasons to make it into the book. Sigh. But wait. In retrospect I realize maybe I could have made it. And still could. The most unpopular girl in the world. Could anyone have been less popular as a child than I was? And still am? Surely not! Is it too late to apply to be in the book? I have never for a day in my life been popular. I have been everything but. I always felt like the least popular. In school. At work. In sports. In bars. In groups. Even in my family. Not much has changed. Wait a minute. One thing has changed entirely!
We were not created to look like, act like, talk like, or become like the world, to please the world, to get the world’s attention, acceptance, and applause, validation, and affirmation, to earn the praises of the world, to be loved by the world, to be fulfilled and sustained by the world, and to be the most popular in the world, or to be popular at all. We were created to love and worship God forever through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, to grow in His image by the power of His Spirit through His Word the Bible, and to live to love, please, adore, revere, honor, praise, worship, enjoy, fellowship with, share about, thank, live and breathe for God! And to love others through Christ and to help lead them to Him. Jesus Christ died on the cross so those who turn from their sins to Him forever are forgiven and promised eternal life, enter into an everlasting relationship with God, become indwelt by His Spirit, and can rest in and experience His unfathomable love, His acceptance through Christ, and become part of His forever Kingdom. As such, we become citizens of heaven where we will live forever and are thus merely pilgrims on earth passing through helping to build His Kingdom by proclaiming Him to the world and being conformed to Christ on the way to heaven. My unpopularity in the world’s eyes has worsened since I became a committed Christ follower. But oh, the joy, peace, and hope of being loved and accepted by God forever! Rejection and unpopularity still hurt – greatly. But I am learning to use my unpopularity as an ongoing opportunity to draw ever closer to God and to fuel my passion to help others do the same! How about you?