Where Do You Get Your Acceptance?

acceptanceHonest folks will admit they have a desire for acceptance. Call it a “need” for acceptance if you want.

1. If you rely on acceptance by other people to meet that need, you will have roller coaster ups and downs, because people are imperfect.

Because they are imperfect, they will sometimes accept you only conditionally, and since you are also imperfect, that means sometimes they won’t accept you.

2. If you, like many, rely on acceptance from say, your dog, you will resent people for not being as accepting as your dog. When others say, “The more I’m around people, the more I appreciate my dog”, you will say, “Yes!”, and your resentment of people will sap your joy.

3. But if you rely on God for your acceptance, believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, believing that He died on the cross for your sins, and resting in His forgiveness, you have the potential for your need of acceptance being met.

God accepts you completely in Jesus Christ. He never changes, He never waivers, He never accepts you “conditionally”, He will never not love you, He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Once you are His, as a believer in Jesus Christ, His acceptance of you is not based on your performance, so you are set free from earning your acceptance, like you might be prone to do with other people.

4. The more you understand and bask in His unconditional acceptance of you, the more you no longer rely on the acceptance of other people, and therefore are free to love them unconditionally, even when they’re not as nice as your dog.

5. The more you understand that His acceptance of you is not dependent on your performance, ironically you love Him more and desire to know and do His will. Who doesn’t want to serve one who so accepts us?

And double-irony, we end up thinking less about ourselves (and our acceptance) and think more about Him — like a child resting in the arms of an accepting parent, gazing into the face of of that loving parent, and loving them back.

Ephesians 1:6, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

Your Acceptance By God


I have a theory. I’m not the originator of the theory, but I subscribe to it. It goes like this:

If a believer in Jesus Christ has not “appropriated” the love and acceptance of God for them, that is, if they have not grasped in their very heart the utter unconditional way that God loves them and accepts them, then they can’t really grasp the love and acceptance of other people for them.

Let me say that in another way.

If a person feels unloveable, or…

If a person feels that others can’t really love or accept them, or…

If a person feels that if someone really knew them, then they wouldn’t love or accept them, or…

If a person feels like if they only could do such-and-such or be such-and-such, or accomplish such-and-such, or be good enough, THEN someone might be able to love and accept them…

Then I believe that person has not understood their acceptance in Christ by God.

They may be born again, saved from their sins, and biblically knowledgeable, but they haven’t grasped the basic understanding of what their relationship is to the God Who loves them unconditionally. They may even know about God’s acceptance of them intellectually, or logically. But they haven’t “appropriated” it spiritually, in the heart.

Sometimes they just need to be taught it from the Scriptures and they blossom as the light dawns in their hearts. But other times it seems that a person must come to some crisis in their lives, some hopelessness in their own self-righteousness, some discouragement from imperfect people, some “whatever”, before the Lord opens their heart to the glorious truth that He doesn’t have a relationship with them based on performance. But it must be spiritually discerned, and so it must be taught over and over and over. Faith even for that, comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Meanwhile, if you have that gnawing feeling that you just don’t measure up to the standard that would allow God to really love and accept you, if you are striving to please Him, and feel like you’re failing to do so, listen: He loves you. Yes, you. Not just enough to die for your sins. Enough to dwell in you. Enough to “justify” you, to declare you righteous, just as if you’d never sinned. Enough to no longer have any condemnation for you. Enough to take you in His arms and comfort you with the truth that He fully, fully accepts you in the Beloved. Enough to call you His beloved, the apple of His eye.

And if you have that gnawing feeling that people can’t really love you, or they sure wouldn’t if they really knew you, understand that you feel that way because you have yet to really grasp God’s love and acceptance for you.

Those who have the Spirit of God surely can love and accept you, even if you have a hard time accepting it, because love is a fruit of the Spirit. And you will be sky-walking when you come to the knowledge of God’s love so strongly that you can say with all sincerity, “Even if no one else loved me, my Savior and my God loves me, and that’s enough.” And the irony is, that’s when you may first be able to accept the love of other people like you never have before.

And then you can love like you never have before.

P.S. Critical: This is not psychology, this is theology. It falls under the heading “…Truth shall set you free.” The application is “If you really appropriate the Truth of the love and acceptance of God for you, then you will be set free to receive the love and acceptance of others (and to love and accept others).”

Your Acceptance By God

I have a theory. I’m not the originator of the theory, but I subscribe to it. It goes like this:

If a believer in Jesus Christ has not “appropriated” the love and acceptance of God for them, that is, if they have not grasped in their very heart the utter unconditional way that God loves them and accepts them, then they can’t really grasp the love and acceptance of other people for them.

Let me say that in another way.

If a person feels unloveable, or…

If a person feels that others can’t really love or accept them, or…

If a person feels that if someone really knew them, then they wouldn’t love or accept them, or…

If a person feels like if they only could do such-and-such or be such-and-such, or accomplish such-and-such, or be good enough, THEN someone might be able to love and accept them…

Then I believe that person has not understood their acceptance in Christ by God.

They may be born again, saved from their sins, and biblically knowledgeable, but they haven’t grasped the basic understanding of what their relationship is to the God Who loves them unconditionally. They may even know about God’s acceptance of them intellectually, or logically. But they haven’t “appropriated” it spiritually, in the heart.

Sometimes they just need to be taught it from the Scriptures and they blossom as the light dawns in their hearts. But other times it seems that a person must come to some crisis in their lives, some hopelessness in their own self-righteousness, some discouragement from imperfect people, some “whatever”, before the Lord opens their heart to the glorious truth that He doesn’t have a relationship with them based on performance. But it must be spiritually discerned, and so it must be taught over and over and over. Faith even for that, comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Meanwhile, if you have that gnawing feeling that you just don’t measure up to the standard that would allow God to really love and accept you, if you are striving to please Him, and feel like you’re failing to do so, listen: He loves you. Yes, you. Not just enough to die for your sins. Enough to dwell in you. Enough to “justify” you, to declare you righteous, just as if you’d never sinned. Enough to no longer have any condemnation for you. Enough to take you in His arms and comfort you with the truth that He fully, fully accepts you in the Beloved. Enough to call you His beloved, the apple of His eye.

And if you have that gnawing feeling that people can’t really love you, or they sure wouldn’t if they really knew you, understand that you feel that way because you have yet to really grasp God’s love and acceptance for you.

Those who have the Spirit of God surely can love and accept you, even if you have a hard time accepting it, because love is a fruit of the Spirit. And you will be sky-walking when you come to the knowledge of God’s love so strongly that you can say with all sincerity, “Even if no one else loved me, my Savior and my God loves me, and that’s enough.” And the irony is, that’s when you may first be able to accept the love of other people like you never have before.

And then you can love like you never have before.

P.S. Critical: This is not psychology, this is theology. It falls under the heading “…Truth shall set you free.” The application is “If you really appropriate the Truth of the love and acceptance of God for you, then you will be set free to receive the love and acceptance of others (and to love and accept others).”