Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. 4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:1-5
CHECK any of these embarrassing situations that have happened to you:
_____ Tried to bleach your hair and it turned fluorescent orange.
_____ Discovered your jeans had a revealing rip up the backside.
_____ Got a red zit on your forehead that looked like a third eye.
_____ Figured out that your socks didn’t match.
_____ Was told your wardrobe was really lame.
_____ 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 conditions. You would hear whispers and worse. You definitely wouldn’t feel confidence oozing out of your pores.
When you wonder whether you are going to feel accepted or not, you feel insecure. When you look at yourself and all you see is shortcomings, you start wondering why anyone would ever want to spend time with you.
But you don’t have to feel that way. Why? You are accepted by the one who matters most-Jesus Christ. He takes you just as you are-fluorescent orange hair, red zit, ripped pants, mismatched socks and all He’s promised never to ditch you because he wants to be with you no matter how you feel about yourself.
If Jesus Christ-Creator of the universe-accepts you, what does it matter if nobody else accepts you? You don’t stop needing people. But you do stop needing their acceptance to make you feel okay. If valuing yourself depended on being accepted, Jesus himself and most of the disciples wouldn’t have done very well. They weren’t exactly popular among their peers.
When you realize that Christ accepts you unconditionally, you don’t have to focus on yourself. You can shift your attention to others. Most 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 cuts you loose from insecurity and lets you be a confident, accepting friend.
REFLECT: How does knowing that Christ accepts you make you more accepting of others?
PRAY: Tell Jesus now how grateful you are that he accepts you completely.
– Josh McDowell, Today’s Youth Devotional