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He Became That We Might Become
by Bro. Clifford Hurst
1101 North Union Road
Dayton, Ohio 45417
One of the most common grievances against the church that through the years I have encountered as pastor is capsulated in these words, "I don't feel like I fit in." I don't doubt one's truly feeling this way. The irony is this: The feeling of not fitting in is unwarranted, but the fact of not fitting in is real. Often, when I am told, "I don't feel like I fit in," I respond, "Well, I don't feel like I fit in either and I am Pastor." The fact is, this feeling of not fitting in is inherent in the human condition. Humans, because of sin, are fallen. Sin by its very nature is alienating. Upon sinning, Adam and Eve immediately went to hide from the presence of God. They no longer felt they fit in with God. And they didn't. I suspect Adam and Eve began to have some type of marriage problems after the fall. Each, very probably, began to suffer some form of self-doubt and self-loathing. People don't feel like they fit in because sin separates: It separates a person from God, from others, and even from himself. One feels like other people don't accept him because of the way the other people are. In truth, one feels like people don't accept him because of the way he is. I'm not talking about the possible quirks and foibles of his personality. I'm referencing the fallen nature, the warped-ness of our soul. This reminds me of a story. Years ago, as a prank, some dorm mates waited until a fellow fell asleep and then spread limburger cheese in his mustache. He awoke, sniffed, and declared to the empty room, "This room stinks." Going out into the hallway, he sniffed again and declared there, "This hallway stinks." Same thing in the lobby: "This lobby stinks." Going outside he sniffed what he thought would be fresh outdoor air. He shook his head and exasperatingly proclaimed, "The whole world stinks!" One feels he does fit in and thinks the problem is the room, the hallway, the lobby, the world-the people around him. In fact, the cheese of fallen-ness is smeared across his soul. This is where salvation through Christ is so poignant. Without going into all the dynamics of salvation at work to repair and restore man from his fallen-ness back into the original condition, let's look at one fragment of Scripture that is the cure to this feeling like we don’t fit: "...herein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Eph 1:6). "Accepted in the Beloved!" Us, who were alienated from God, who did not fit in He has accepted because we are in the Beloved. At His baptism, the Father spoke, "This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased." If we are in that Son, what the Father says applies to us. We are beloved and with us God is well-pleased. We fit in. The fact is, because of sin, we do not fit in. But, the fact is also, if we are in Christ, we fit in. We are accepted. The feeling like we don't fit in, is a faithless, unwarranted feeling. It is deceiving us. Socially, feeling like we don't fit in and blaming that on others only perpetuates and feeds the not-fitting-in-feeling. Perhaps, it is time to accept that we are accepted in the Beloved and clean the limburger cheese off of our mustaches.