In grade school, I was never one of the popular girls. I wanted to be, but… Then one day in eighth grade all my school shirts were dirty and Mom let me wear a white blouse. She wouldn’t let me wear white regularly because it got dirty too easily. On that particular day, to be able to wear that white blouse was a real treat. It turned out to be a bigger treat than I expected when I was approached by one of the popular girls who said I could be one of them if I wore a white blouse more often.
Often the world’s message is similar to my grade school experience. Judgments are based on superficial attributes. Who we are in the world’s eyes is based on how we look, who our friends are, how we act. In other words, how we preform.
It is ironic that the belonging the world offers us is not a belonging that leads to life. When we seek to fulfill our sense of belonging through the ways of the world, we are often left feeling used, castoff, manipulated or worse – physically, mentally and/or emotionally abused and broken. And the world has no use for those who do not meet its standards for belonging.
Being Popular With The Right Person
Jesus, on the other hand, seeks out the abused, broken and castoff. He offers deep fulfillment based on who we are, not what we do. Perhaps the best news is that our Heavenly Father, the One who loves us unconditionally and created us in His very own image, defines who we are. As a result, He longs to redeem the broken parts of our lives, invites us to participate in His deeply fulfilling work, and see ourselves as He see us: cherished sons and daughters in whom He takes great delight.
I lasted for about a week with the popular girls. Then I began to see just how superficial and shallow their relationships were. I had to apologize to my real friends for deserting them in an effort to be popular. They accepted my apology and we picked up our meaningful friendships where we left off.
Is the world attempting to entice you with empty promises that draw you away from more significant and meaningful relationships and areas of your life? Are there ways Jesus is calling you to enter into deeper and more meaningful relationship with Him?