We’re all looking for acceptance. We all want to know people think we’re alright, that what we do matters and who we are is valued by someone. We try and find that meaning and acceptance in all sorts of places. Some of us want to be popular. Some of us try to be funny. We want people to like us. It’s a pretty basic human need. Some of us put music, sport or a particular scene above all else as the place we find a bit of meaning, acceptance and purpose.
But is it enough? Do these things really help us feel like we’re truly loved – not for the ways we behave and act, but just for who we are, deep, deep down in our very being?
Family is an important one. For Arezki from Algeria, it was everything. In his rural community, family and tradition were central to daily life. But Arezki was unsettled. Something wasn’t quite making sense. Then a friend told him about Jesus and he became a Christian there and then. Being from a pretty conservative Muslim area, the reaction wasn’t great. He began speaking to his friends and neighbours about Jesus, which caused problems for his family.
One day he came home to find all his Christian books and CDs had been burnt. Arezki’s family were desperate for him to come back to Islam, but he couldn’t. He knew where he’d found true meaning, purpose and love. His Dad asked him to leave the family home. Arezki responded,
“I told him I was in Christ, the God of greatness in whom I had found healing, life and peace.”
Arezki found something in Jesus he couldn’t find in another religion, in friendship, in work or even in his family. But have we? We’re surrounded with things that promise meaning and acceptance. But do they really deliver? Arezki realised that when he met Jesus, that was enough. He didn’t need to look elsewhere. It’s something we could do with learning.
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.”
1. What or where do you look for acceptance and meaning? The number of likes on your Instagram feed? The grades you get? The friends you have? The clothes you wear? None of these things are bad, but if we put them before finding love and acceptance in Jesus, we’ll always feel like something is missing.
2. Note down some of the things you’ve thought about and pray about them. As you pray, read through the Bible verse and take in the words. God has chosen you, He’s adopted you, and He was happy to do it. Let that sink in and let God become the one who gives you true meaning, love and acceptance.
Father, thank You that You’ve chosen me. Thank You that You know me and love me with an amazing, unending, never leaving, always there, love. I’m sorry for the times I look to find my meaning, purpose and acceptance in something other than You. Help me be like Arezki, and understand Your love so I can find my security and future in You. Be with Arezki today. Bless him and his family. Keep him, and the many who choose You in the toughest circumstances, safe. Give them strength, courage and meet their needs. Today, use Arezki to help other people come to know true meaning and acceptance in you.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.