I was watching television with Maggie the other day and the show was all about kids trying to fit in. They were trying to be "popular", but couldn't quite make it work. It's a familiar theme and I started thinking about how we never really lose that need or desire to fit in with the world around us. We are either trying to blend in with friends or co-workers and we just want to be loved and accepted. Most of the time we want people to like us for who we truly are, but sometimes we go as far as changing things about us to become who we think others want us to be. That's a complicated way to say we we change ourselves to fit the mold. It sounds like a problem we should face in high school, but throughout our lives we tend to struggle with who we are and where we fit in. I think we are naturally insecure and continually seek love and assurance that we are okay. Unfortunately we seek the wrong places for that reassurance. The problem is that we will never truly fit into this world. If we know Christ, the scripture teaches us that this world is not our home. It's not the world around us that we need approval from. We need to be going to God to fulfill that place of acceptance and love. The most beautiful thing about it, He already accepts us and loves us for who we are. We don't have to change who we are to get God to be our friend. He is pursuing us. I love that thought. The creator of the world, the giver of life and all good things, the beginning and the end, the great I AM, the God of all miracles, our Heavenly Father wants to be with us and loves us with an everlasting love. He loves you, just the way you are. His love doesn't change with the tides or with the latest style, but His love is always there, no matter who we are or what we look like. That is such a beautiful thought and perfect picture. He wants us to find our confidence in Him and then whoever else comes along and loves us is only a bonus in our lives.
With that thought in mind, I look at church and I think it should be a place that we can be ourselves. We should be able to be honest about our weaknesses and strengths and still be loved and encouraged. I feel like in the past there have been times that I've worn masks or pretended to be something that I thought was the picture perfect person. The reality is that none of us are perfect. The bible says it in Romans, that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" , so why do we feel like we have to portray this "image" of who we are that is not accurate or right? We should strive for the perfection in Christ Jesus, but we need to be real and honest with each other about who we are and our weaknesses. It's my prayer that Living Hope can become a place of "real" people. I hope that we can love people, faults and all, in whatever state or place they are in. I hope that Living Hope can be the place where "everybody knows your name". That's what we want and need in our lives. We need to know we have a place to find love and a place to be honest about who we are. God gives us that unconditional love. Let's make Living Hope in London, Ky. a place that shares in God's love and acceptance of people. Let's show Jesus to those seeking for a place to belong.