“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” – Mother Teresa
In the same way, when God looks at us, God doesn’t see “pretty ones ”and “ugly ones” but beloved children—God’s creations—in need. When Jesus was on Earth, he didn’t choose perfect people as followers but ordinary people: fishermen, tax collectors, sinful women and men. The “heroes” of Jesus’ parables were frequently social outcasts: publicans, Samaritans, beggars, and the like.
When Peter realized that God’s grace and salvation are available to Gentiles as well as Jews, he said, “‘Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.’” (Acts10:34b-35 ESV). God is impartial; God doesn’t care who we are or what we have or how we look, only whether we are faithful servants. And in his letter to the Galatians, Paul wrote that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28 ESV). There is no such thing as “status” where God is concerned (Gal. 2:6). When God looks at us, God doesn’t see “pretty” ones and “ugly” ones, important ones and ordinary ones. God looks for
Paul realized that
What Peter and Paul realized so long ago is still true today. Paul quoted the prophet Joel to the Romans when he wrote, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Joel 2:32a; Rom. 10:12-13 ESV). He didn’t say “everyone the Lord likes” or “everyone who is good enough” or “everyone who is ‘pretty’ enough.” Instead, he said “everyone who calls.” Everyone who recognizes his or her need and calls on the Lord will be saved.
When we accept others—“pretty” ones and “ugly” ones, “saints” and “sinners,”—we demonstrate Christ’s own love and acceptance. Instead of our sinfulness, others will see God’s love shining through us. They will know the reality of our salvation and they will know whom to call on for their own.
“And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Pet. 1:17-19 ESV.)
Copyright © 2007 by David Phelps