Ephesians 1:3-4, 1 Peter 2:9-10
- Think about/write about a time in your life when you were not chosen for something or by someone. How did you feel during that time?
- Think about/write about a time in your life when you were chosen for something or by someone. How did you feel during that time?
- How does it make you feel to know that you are chosen by God? Do you truly believe it?
I’ve had my fair share of not being chosen. And I don’t just mean that I wasn’t chosen for a certain team in gym class.
Let’s list all the times, shall we?
I wasn’t chosen for the “A” team when I tried out for a select soccer league. It would have been fine, except the team I had just played with the previous season all got on the “A” team and I landed on the “B” team with all of the new, inexperienced players.
I wasn’t chosen for 6 different plays that I tried out for in my community theater or my high school.
I wasn’t chosen for the highest level dance team when I tried out my senior year of high school.
I wasn’t chosen by countless different middle school crushes (though this was probably for the best).
I wasn’t chosen in 8th grade by my group of friends that were apparently my “besties” in 7th grade.
I could probably find more, but I think you get the picture. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a major failure, but when I start to list out all the times I wasn’t chosen, it can really feel like I was.
Can you relate at all?
We long to be chosen. We want people to choose to be our friend. We want our parents to choose to love us. We want to be chosen for the team or the role. When we are chosen, it’s like someone is saying, “I see you. I value you. I want to use what you have to offer. I like you. I want you here. I choose you.” What a good feeling.
This isn’t a bad desire to want to be chosen. It’s hard-wired in us by our very own creator. As you read in Ephesians, we were chosen before the creation of the world.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you might be thinking, “But if we’re all chosen, what’s the big deal about me being chosen?” You may feel like, if everyone is chosen, then, in a way, no one is chosen, right?
Let’s get theological to start to understand this idea.
All throughout the Old Testament, we follow the Israelites and these people are God’s chosen people. He chose these people to receive His blessings and promises. They were his special people. The Israelites are the Jews. So when the New Testament talks about Gentiles, it is talking about anyone who is not an Israelite (or a Jew). Gentiles were not originally included in God’s promises that he gave.
But because of Jesus, he has brought together all people under his promise of eternal life (see Ephesians 2:11-16). Jesus destroyed any dividing wall between the “chosen” and the “un-chosen” so that all of God’s people could be chosen and dearly loved.
God did not have to choose us, and yet he did. Not because of anything we have done or have to offer (after all, he chose us before the creation of the world). God chose all of us because he loves us deeply. He chose us by sending Jesus to reconcile us to God and each other.
The beautiful thing about being chosen by God is that we are chosen regardless of how we perform. All of the times I was not chosen were based on how I performed. I either had what they were looking for or I didn’t. And that’s how so much of life is. That’s why it is so hard to comprehend that God chooses us no matter how we perform. Everything else in life is dependent upon what we can offer, but our relationship with God is dependent upon what he offered on the cross for us.
God chose you. And he is still choosing you every day. You don’t have to get it all right to make sure he keeps choosing you. You can be rejected by other people, teams, roles, or jobs and in the end it doesn’t matter because the creator of the universe chose you before he even created the world. He loved you that deeply that he would choose you before he did anything else.
Will you choose him?
- Pick somewhere you look often (your phone background, mirror, car, etc.) and write down CHOSEN. This is a small reminder that you can rest in the beautiful truth that you are chosen by God.
- Show others that they are chosen by God by choosing them. This could be telling someone you want to be friends and reaching out to hang out. This could be inviting a friend somewhere. You could even choose your siblings or your family by choosing to stay home and spend time together rather than go out with friends.
- Make a list where every item starts with, “I am chosen because . . .” and try to come up with all of the reasons God chooses you. Don’t focus on what you bring to the table, but what he has done to choose you and love you