They are often a humorous stunt that the new guy is given as a bit of a joke.
Reference: v.5 But people cannot do any work that will make them right with God. So they must trust in him, who makes even evil people right in his sight. Then God accepts their faith, and that makes them right with him. (NCV Bible)
Explore: An initiation is a challenge that someone must complete to prove that they can be a part of a group. Wikipedia explains it as a rite of passage ceremony marking entrance or acceptance into a group or society. Some initiations can be very harmless. They are often a humorous stunt that the new guy is given as a bit of a joke. However, some gangs have serious initiation challenges that involve breaking the law or showing honour to the gang rather than the person’s family. When working in schools I have seen children create initiation challenges for other kids who want to join their social group. They may not be aware of it, but by requesting a new groupie treat other classmates or a teacher in a particular way, they are testing to see if they are really committed to being a part of the new group.
Application: When we become a part of God’s group there is no need for initiation. God does not require us to do something challenging or denounce a previous group that we were a part of. In fact, to become a follower of God, there is actually nothing we can do but have faith in Him. We don’t have to be the model citizen, a great singer, a fabulous cook, or have an amazing physique or a huge bank balance. God accepts us as we are with no initiation. When we receive such amazing love and grace it often prompts us to change for the better, but that is not a requirement for God.
Prayer: Lord, it is hard to understand how great your love and grace truly are. We always like to be paid for the work that we do and yet you do everything for us and require nothing in return. Thank you Jesus. Amen.
What do you expect of others in order for you to accept them?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.