Belonging

Merwin VanDoornik

READ : 1 John 1:5-7

“Who are the most influential persons in your life?” asks the poll taker of teenagers. “My friends.” A few decades ago the answer would have been “My parents.” Maybe this is because too many teens don’t know their parents and too many live with only one. But maybe also because the need to belong is a drive placed in us by our Creator. He said: “It is not good for the man to be alone…” (Gen. 2:18). And how do we know we belong to God? John gives us a test: “…live by the truth and walk in the light.”

By nature we humans are great conformists. Lincoln once said: “Men, if you want to show your individuality, wear your wife’s hat to church!” None of us wants to be that different. And yet God calls us to differentness: His goal is to conform us to the image of Christ. And that does make us different.

I was sad to read the results of the Barna Research Group as reported by Josh McDowell in Right From Wrong. During a three-month period, 66% of evangelical church kids said they had lied to their parents, 36% had cheated on exams, 20% had attempted to hurt someone physically, and 16 out of 100 kids had watched an X-rated pornographic movie. That’s “walking in the light”?

PRAYER

“Lord, the light of Your love is shining in the midst of the darkness, shining. Jesus, Light of the World, shine upon us, set us free by the truth you now bring us: Shine on me . . . .” (Graham Kendrick)