Recently, I had the privilege of reading a book geared towards middle and high school kids called The Art of Playing Second Fiddle: Encouraging Teens who Never Place First by Theodore W. Schroeder. I really enjoyed the art style of the book, but the message was just as impactful.
The book featured stories of several boys and girls who were in situations that portrayed them as being considered last: in sports, in family gatherings, and amongst friends.
There is something appealing about being chosen. In our humanness, everyone wants to experience the positive feeling of acceptance. We want to be well-liked. In fact, more than that, we want to be loved.
In our humanness, everyone wants to be well-liked. In fact, more than that, we want to be loved
So many don’t know the love and acceptance of God, because they’ve never experienced it. Instead, they hope for the world to accept them. If they can only get a specific number of followers on social media… If only that specific group of “cool kids” could let them in… If only Mom and Dad would simply accept and love me as I am…
From childhood, the craving to be accepted, chosen, and loved is an insatiable thirst and desire that all of us experience. Yet, we increasingly find that all the things we try to find meaning in — in the world, and the things of the world — always fall short.
Those who have not experienced the joy of being chosen often have the experience of being refused or rejected. The pain of it can leave us feeling shame and self-hate. The more we’re rejected, the more the message of rejection seems to linger and grow deeper and deeper into our souls — souls that need God’s love, salvation and life.
In reading 1 Peter 2:4-10, we discover that even though we’ve experienced such a rejection and feeling of shame just by being believers of Christ in a hostile world, we can take encouragement that the chief cornerstone, Christ Jesus, overcame such hatred:
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
The pain of rejection can leave us grappling with feelings of shame and self-hate
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
Even if the world does not choose us, whether it is by means of a lost opportunity to attend a certain school, be with certain people, make a certain amount of money, or live in a specific place, we can take hope in God and His Word and what He says about Him choosing us.
Celebrate the fact that He chose us first! Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
When God chooses us, we can expect the Lord to build us up in Him. We can anticipate the spiritual development of becoming more like Christ, and we can expect to see our lives change from the inside out.
For the disobedient, Jesus is in the way. For believers, He is the way
For those who trust in the Lord, as the Word of God says, “He is precious.” The Lord is that much more important to you, even more important than the world. But, to those who do not believe, he is a stumbling place, a rock of offence.
For the disobedient, Jesus is in the way, not the way. For believers, He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:16).
The chosen of God have access that’s better than any kind of access the world has to offer. We have access to God the Father through Christ. It is access that was only afforded to Levite priests in the past. But, through Christ, we can go to the Father freely, and have an intimate connection and relationship with Him.
Being the chosen of God is more than just a status. It is a call to do work that He’s called you into and with what He’s put in you. Since the Lord chose us, the very act should move us to both honour and glorify the Lord with everything we have and with everything we are.
Even if everything we are to the world is small, weak, unpopular and unacceptable, the Lord through His grace, His mercy, and His love is looking to choose the least. And the least we can do is choose Him too.
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