God Says You Are Accepted
“Therefore, accept each other in the same way that Christ accepted you. He did this to bring glory to God” (Romans 15:7 GW).
Most of us spend our entire lives trying to earn acceptance. We want to earn it from our parents, peers, partners in life, people we respect, and maybe even people we envy. The drive to be accepted is a deep drive that can influence the kinds of clothes you wear, the kind of car you drive, the kind of house you buy, and even the career you choose.
Maybe as a kid you wanted so badly to join the in-crowd. So someone would say to you, “I dare you to do this,” and they’d suggest something that was either stupid or put your personal safety at risk. But you did it anyway because your desire to be accepted overruled the desire for safety.
We do it because we love the feeling of “I’m okay. Somebody accepts me.” When you’re accepted, it does tremendous things for your self-esteem. The truth is, Jesus accepts you, and that acceptance is not based on your performance. In fact, you may have received Christ, but do you realize you’re able to do that because Jesus accepted you? You don’t have to earn his acceptance. You don’t have to prove yourself to him.
We need to stop thinking, “I’ve got an unpleasable God up there, and I’ve got to be a good boy or girl to be accepted.” God, through Jesus Christ, has already accepted you. That’s the Good News!
The Bible teaches, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me” (Psalm 27:10 NIV). Even today you may be trying to prove yourself to an unpleasable parent. You’re still attempting to earn that acceptance. If that’s you, you need to understand two things:
First, if you haven’t gotten the approval by now, then you’re not likely to ever get it — and second, that is their problem, not yours.
You don’t need to be accepted by others to please God. You’ve been accepted by God. We have more than 7 billion people on the planet. If some of them don’t like you, who cares? You don’t need it. God has accepted you!
Talk It Over
On what do you base your self-esteem?
How does the drive to be accepted by others affect you physically? What about emotionally and spiritually?
How does knowing you are accepted by God change your life?
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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