“When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ … All the people saw this and began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a “sinner.”’” Luke 19:5-7 (NIV)


Have you noticed that it was Jesus’ dinners with sinners that always got him into trouble? He was always getting into hot water with the religious people because he was always hanging out with the wrong crowd.

Can you imagine what bloggers would say today about Jesus having dinner with Zacchaeus, a corrupt politician? Guilt by association is one of the favorite tactics of critics today.

I’ve often faced accusations because of some of the people I’ve been seen hanging out with. I hang out with these people because I’m an evangelist. My goal is to build a bridge between my heart and the hearts of unbelievers, a bridge of love that Jesus can use to reach them.

Jesus came to earth for the sick, the broken, and the insecure people that the religious people wanted to ignore. He came to fill their deepest need with his love.

One of our deepest needs in life is to feel secure, to feel valuable, to feel acceptance. Because of this we are constantly doing two things – evaluating and comparing. We do this all the time, consciously and unconsciously. We judge ourselves by one of the world’s four standards that don’t matter:

  1. Appearance. How do I look? This mentality says that the more beautiful you are, the more important and more valuable you are.
  2. Affluence. If I own a lot, then I must be worth a lot.
  3. Achievement. Do you base your value on your awards, notoriety, and promotions?
  4. Approval. How many people like me? How popular am I?

The problem with this value system is that it’s not stable. Beauty fades with age; possessions wear out; someone else will surpassed your successes; and not everyone will like you.

Studies show that you tend to base your self-esteem on what you think the most important person in our life thinks about you. So I recommend you make Jesus Christ the most important person in your life because he will always tell you the truth.

The only solid foundation for self-worth is to realize how much you matter to God. When you see yourself the way God sees you, it will transform you.

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