There have been times in my life when I felt very unworthy. At times, either my attitude or behavior was so unattractive or unacceptable that I didn’t understand how anyone could possibly love me or want me in their company. At other times, it was the mistakes and misdeeds of my past that kept creeping into my mind that “told” me that I was simply not lovable or worthy of the good will bestowed upon me by family and others. Perhaps you have felt similarly at different points in your life. Even in the secular world, surveys indicate that most people truly desire to be accepted and loved, yet many of them think that they are unlovable or unworthy. While those in the secular world look to other people for that acceptance and love, we Christians not only look to our family and friends, inside the church and outside, ultimately, we look to God for love and acceptance.
Time and time again, I have been reminded of how deeply and sincerely I am loved. I have been amazed - and so grateful - for the number of times that my family and friends have made me feel loved, despite my unlovable behavior. I also need to remember - as do you - that God loves me so much that He gave up His life (John 3:16). All He asks of us is that we show our love for Him by living a life that is patterned by those great people of faith described in His word and by God, Himself, as He walked – perfectly - in the flesh here on Earth. So, in those times when you have doubts emanating from imperfections, despite your best efforts to live the kind of life that you know God desires, remember that He loves you. When each of us became a child of God, He promised to cover us in His grace and mercy – His love. If you ever doubt whether you are “worthy”, remember that God’s nature is love (1st John 4:16) and that He created us so that He could express His unlimited care and love. That is what happens when we take refuge in God and put on Christ in baptism. So, as we walk with our Lord and are doing the best we can to live a life of dedication and acceptability to Him, instead of wondering whether we are acceptable or lovable, remember - and rejoice - that you are “clothed” in God’s mantle of love. That, Brothers and Sisters, is what makes you and me (and all truthfully faithful) truly exceptional! Psalm 5:11-12 and 8:1&3-4a May the Good Lord continue to bless us all!