I’m only seventeen. So many things I’ve yet to experience. Much of life is still an imagination. But, thank God, I know Jesus Christ.
Looking back, I wonder where I’d be without His saving grace. His unconditional love. His reckless pursuit for my soul.
I may be young. “But true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his” (Job 12:13 NLT).
Isaiah writes, “…The wisdom of the wise will pass away, and the intelligence of the intelligent will disappear” (Isa. 29:14 NLT).
Indeed, true wisdom is Jesus Christ himself. As the Apostle Paul writes, “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin” (1 Cor. 1:30 NLT).
As he continues his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul states, “Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, ‘Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?’ But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:15-16 NLT).
According to the Bible, even though I’m young and naïve, I have the mind of Christ. Therefore, God has graced me to share His Word with you—even if you’re older and more experienced than myself.
Unfortunately, I struggle with acceptance on a daily basis.
Maybe you, like me, have questions lingering in your mind, such as:
“What will he think?”
“What will she say?”
“Did I say the right thing?”
“What if I ruin our relationship?”
It’s exhausting. It’s debilitating. And it takes the joy out of life. How can you enjoy God’s presence if you’re always focused on what others think?
But that’s not the only form of acceptance I struggle with. I also struggle to accept myself. I need to be more like Paul. He writes, “As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you [Corinthians] or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide” (1 Cor. 4:3-4 NLT).
In other words, Paul says, “It doesn’t matter what you think about me. It doesn’t even matter what I think about myself. All that matters is what God thinks about me.”
Well, let me tell you. God has a lot to say about His children.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Eph. 2:10 NLT).
“Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault” (Col. 1:22 NLT).
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (Rom. 8:31 NLT).
God’s children are victorious (Rom. 8:37), free (Gal. 5:1), and born again (1 Pet. 1:23). And for those wondering—yes, you are accepted. The Bible says, “Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you…” (Rom. 15:7 NLT).
You see, God wants us to live from a point of acceptance, not to a point of acceptance.
As you go about your day, don’t worry about finding acceptance. Instead, live confidently because Jesus Christ has already accepted you. Live from God’s acceptance, not to the acceptance of others…or yourself.
Isaiah Pauley is a senior at Wahama High School. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.