Weekly devotional: Fitting in

Nov. 19, 2021

Contributed by 'Alohi Bikle

Ka Ipu o Lono shares weekly devotionals to provide spiritual enrichment to members of the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana. For more inspiration, visit the KS “Our faith” website.

Heluhelu Baibala
Akā, ua hoʻākāka mai ke Akua i kona aloha iā kākou, no ka mea, i ka wā e hewa ana kākou, make ihola ʻo Kristo no kākou.
– Roma 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
– Roman 5:8

He manaʻo o ke kahu
It’s a natural thing to want to be with the “in” crowd, to be noticed. I remember doing some pretty dumb things to fit in when I was in college. If I took the time to really consider what everyone else would have thought, instead of the two or three who I was trying to impress, there was no way I would have done THAT. But we never really take the moment to consider such things because our credibility rests on those we are trying to score points with.

Look at the elite of Jesus’s time. In Matthew 23, he notes how the Pharisees “dressed to impress” – “And they do all their deeds to be noticed by other people; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.” In Luke 14, he gave instructions on who you should invite to a dinner party – “Whenever you give a banquet, invite people who are poor, who have disabilities, who are limping, and people who are blind; and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Those who invited the rich, the powerful, used the moment to draw attention to themselves and to elevate their station in life. Guess what? You want to be noticed in this world? That will be its own reward.

Instead, we should realize that the only one we should be seeking attention from is ke Akua. But here’s the kicker, God doesn’t care what we do, what we look like, or even how much we try to impress him for impression’s sake. He loves us no matter what, so much so that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. That is true love and shows that no matter what we do to try to impress God, it is all wasted because that is not what he is looking for. In fact, the lesser we are in the eyes of this world, the greater we appear in ke Akua’s eyes.

Think of that in the future, as you build yourself up for the sake of others. Is that who you should truly be impressing? Is that who you really are? What are you gaining by giving up your soul for a moment’s glory? Think instead of what everlasting joy you can have by just being yourself and living your life for the glory of God. Let that be your one lasting impression that you seek to leave in this world.