When we try to live up to society’s ideals and standards we can either become extremely prideful, because we have strived to reach the goal, or incredibly disappointed because we have failed to measure up.
The reality is society’s ideals are unrealistic and nearly impossible to sustain. When we try to attain them, we have to strive, push and control every variable in the process. Society tells us what we need to look like, what we need to wear, how much money we should make, what car we should drive so that we can finally be enough to receive the proverbial pat on the back.
The truth is we can come to God just as we are, and all of the pressure can come off. We can find acceptance through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the Cross alone. He was perfect for us, died for us and was raised from the dead for us; and now we can rest in His perfection.
When we come to our devotional times of prayer we can have confidence that God sees us perfect in Jesus. As we simply receive Jesus Christ into our hearts, we receive His abundant supply of grace and His gift of righteousness that causes us to reign in life (Romans 5:17).
The Kingdom of God is counter to society’s demands. Society demands that we go to extreme lengths to measure up to its standards: extreme dieting, plastic surgery, endless work hours, debt and competition. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). It has nothing to do with the external life and everything to do with the internal life. There is a peace that comes from resting in Jesus and His righteousness. This peace transcends understanding so that we can have joy despite outside circumstances. It is in receiving His righteousness on the inside that we begin to see changes on the outside.
When we turn from society for our acceptance, and to God, we find rest for our souls. Our righteousness does not depend on our doing, buying or competing, it depends entirely on our believing (Romans 1:17).
Romans 1:17 – For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”