Monday, August 3, 2015

Press Your Own "Like" Button

"As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert, in the same way the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.

Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God's only Son. This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up. But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God."
—John 3:14-21

This is a world that lives by the "Like" button. We look for approval. We want to be popular; some even seek fame. At one time or another, most of us find ourselves in situations where approval by someone matters: That proposal you are making to a company for a big sale, or that job interview. If we are not careful, we find our own opinion of ourselves becomes measured by our acceptance of others.

But God has a message for all of us: He loves us, unconditionally. That's not to say he approves of everything we do. But regardless of our activity, the scriptures repeatedly tell us that he holds us very dear.

Yes, there are many in the world who deny him. They reject his love because it interferes with their own pursuits. But know this: whether or not you believe in him, He believes in you. The most direct message communicating this is John 3:16, shown above. But as you dig deeper into the Bible, time and time again he offers compassionate love and opportunity for us to come to him.

For man, this is not a easy thing to understand. When someone denies us or rejects us, we usually turn away from them. Families become torn apart, friendships fade, business relationships end, and are seldom renewed. "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."

But I am here to tell you that in spite of any rejection you have felt, or for that matter, have dished out, God understands. And hear me on this: He loves you anyway.

There is much inside of you that is good. Now, you can choose to let those rejections tear down your mood and opinion of yourself. My own mother had tremendous self-esteem troubles, and often told me she just would rather stay at home in bed under the covers, that come out and face a judgmental world.

God wants you to see in yourself the vast and intense beauty of the person he created you to be. There is much to be done in the world, and if you let yourself rise above the judgment of others, then you can begin to see a better you. If you seek out that person, you can make the changes that will completely change your attitude.

Personally, I can tell you from experience that I have seen this change in me. I have done some very unforgivable things in my life. I have hurt others, sometimes unintentionally, but no excuses: I blew it. But what is to be gained if I wallow in it? Shall I commit to living the rest of my life imposing punishment for it? Why? I cannot change the past. But I can learn from it, and try to live a wiser future.

Make that change. Give yourself permission to find joy. Pursue your passions, and help others do the same. Press your own "Like" button. There is much there to appreciate.