Whenever I feel like an outsider...
There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
This passage is proof that God has no favorites. There is no social stratum or group that is more saved, more loved or just plain cooler than another. Life with God is not the lunch tables in high school. He loves & forgives everyone who believes in his Son, Jesus. And he loves us all the same – not some more than others or less than others like we do based on what people look like, where they work, or what kind of car they drive.
I’m thinking of the two men Jesus compared in Luke 18. “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector!” But guess what the tax collector was there to do? “The tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God.” (v. 9-14)
It didn’t matter to God that the tax collector was not a popular or desirable person. What mattered was the state of this guy’s heart; and his heart was calling out to be forgiven, and he was forgiven indeed. God never says, I would forgive you if you weren’t such a dirt bag. Or, I would love you if you were prettier, happier, smarter, thriftier...
Landowners have no special treatment over renters, white collar workers have no privileges above the blue, God doesn’t love men more then women or millionaires more than the homeless. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. He will love and forgive anyone, anytime, anywhere. What else can we say that about? Some of us can’t even say that about our own families. If we weren’t lucky enough to be the oldest, the smartest, the prettiest or the baby of the family, we’re outta luck.
But God truly has no favorites in his Family. He also has no outcasts. He makes us all part of the same Family free to enjoy a rich, full life in Jesus (John 10:10) regardless of our class, finances, education or social standing. Whenever I feel like an outsider, I think about this and smile.
I don’t need another area of life where I don’t fit in. Thank you so much that it just so happens that in the most important are of my life, who I am and where I will spend eternity, you’ve made it so I fit in perfectly. Thank you for forgiving me, loving me, and accepting me just like I am. I love you so much and I just can’t thank you enough for how you operate. And I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.