“Our great honor lies in being just what Jesus was and is. To be accepted by those who accept Him, rejected by all who reject Him, loved by those who love Him. What greater glory could come to any man?” Those words were written by A.W. Tozer over 50 years ago, but still ring just as true today. Our purpose and calling in life is to look like and glorify Jesus. Everything we do should point people to Him. Anything besides this in our lives is superfluous. When our entire aim is to be accepted by those who accept Him and rejected by those who don’t, our daily activities become much more focused.
The first thing we should do is take an inventory of where we are now. Are we accepted by those who accept that Jesus is God’s Son and the Lord of all? Are we rejected by those who dismiss the claims of Jesus? We spend a good deal of our lives trying to be well liked and accepted. More often than not, we are trying to fit in with and receive approval from those who rejected Jesus too.
Jesus was accepted by the sick, the lowly, and the “sinners” of His day. He was rejected by the religious elite and the rulers of the people. Jesus was a friend of the common man and a foe to those who would impose their power unjustly over the crowds. Politicians brushed Him off as a troublemaker. Religious leaders claimed He was the devil himself (Luke 11:14-23). But ordinary, everyday people accepted Him at His word. They followed Him, served Him, and encouraged others to do the same. The sick and the outcast worshipped Him for the hope and healing He imparted to their lives.
Which brings us back to you and me; are we loved by the poor, sick, and outcast? If not, is it because we have not sought their approval? Let’s face it, most of us try and impress those of a higher station, not those we would consider beneath us. We are seeking the approval of those who rejected Jesus and therefore finding ourselves rejected by the ones Jesus loved. We can fix this, but it will require an intentional effort to eschew the opinions of the societal elites and to begin to champion the plight of the poor, sick, orphaned, and widowed.
Who are the people that accept and love you? Are they the same types of people who accepted and loved Jesus? Are you rejected by the same folks who rejected Jesus? If not, it is time to reevaluate what is important to us and for whom we are living. Selfishness dictates that we gain acceptance from those deemed important to society. Selflessness, on the other hand, demands that we seek no approval other than that of Jesus Himself and that we be a friend to the helpless and the sinner. There is no greater honor than to live a life that looks like Jesus.