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Updated: Nov 20, 2023

On this 5th Sunday of Easter, year A, Peter tells us in the second reading (1 Peter 2:4-9) that we “are living stones, approved by the Lord.” The question then is, whose approval do I seek in this life? Some are given into the temptation of seeking approval from themselves. The problem though is that self-approval is loaded with all kind of difficulties because it is ridden with the judgment of others. A majority of society is given to seeking approval from others. This, too, is highly suspect because tends to make us become others, a chameleon dancing to every color that is in our surrounding. People’s truth becomes our truth, and their lives approval becomes our life. If we deviate from any of these—their ways, their truth, and their beliefs—we lose their approval.

When we focus on what others think of us, we run the risk of not becoming who God knows us to be and who God wants us to become. Focusing on what others think of us can box us into the corner of their judgment, only for us to, consciously or unconsciously, act and behave in ways that line up with their prejudice, we can easily begin to look down on ourselves, doubt our own abilities, and even end up living a life that we were not created to live. No wonder Scripture says, “It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you” (Proverb 29:25). Using the opinions of others as the measuring stick of our worth can be losing battle. It is difficult to please God if you are disgusted with the person looking back at you in a mirror. Life is best lived if we can live it based on who God thinks we are. We are not what others think we are; we are what God knows us to be. What God knows us to be is that we are wired with the ability and inner strength to do great things, to stand strong in the face of opposition, to call forth the David within us in the face of life-Goliaths, to go further than we can ever imagine, and to live a life beyond the boundaries that limit us.

My friends, God thinks good thoughts about us and so let us, as well, think good thoughts about ourselves. Never look down on yourself, no matter where you come from, who you are, what your profession is, or whatever imperfections you may have. There is always someone who is looking up to you, God your creator. We know that beliefs are very powerful because they have power to create and power to destroy. So believe in yourself, trust in your worth, be full of expectations, and stand with St. Paul when he says, “I am who I am by the grace of God” and because you are who you are by the grace of God, other persons, also, are who they are by the grace of God, and so we should never look down on anyone because only God sits up that high to do so. Every morning, as you wake up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror and reassure yourself that “you are a living stone, approved by God. Let t his thought guide your ways throughout your days in this life.

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