Whoever comes to me, I will never drive away. John 6:37 (NIV)
Do you know what it feels like to be rejected?
In Westminster Abbey in London, where Wills and Kate were married, there is an area called Poets’ Corner. This is the resting place for many famous poets and writers. Charles Dickens is buried here. There are memorials to Jane Austen, Emily Bronte and her sisters, and William Shakespeare; CS Lewis was recently added. However, some poets are not buried or memorialized in Westminster Abbey. These people were turned down because of their unconventional lifestyles.
You may think when God looks at your life he would react in the same way, and turn his back on you. “He could never accept me,” you say to yourself; “I’m just not good enough.” Or, “God knows what I’m really like.”
It’s true, we do fall short of what God’s wants us to be—we make selfish decisions, we have prideful thoughts, and we deliberately say mean things to upset people we love—yet God never spurns his children.
In the Gospels, Jesus wanted to be with people who knew their lives didn’t measure up to the standards of the day. He took time to be with a dishonest tax collector who cheated people of their money. He accepted the woman whose lifestyle repulsed those who knew her. He went out of his way to meet the woman who was living with, and not married to, a man.
Jesus overturned the conventional to be with those who were unconventional.
Jesus spoke highly of the tax collector’s humble prayer. He saved the woman who showed devotion with her tears, and praised up the truth telling of the immoral woman who then led others to learn the truths about God. Jesus never turned people away.
More recently the restrictions to be memorialized in Westminster Abbey have been relaxed.
Even so, we should not let our ineligibility to other people distort our eligibility to God.