What follows is a message for Christians. If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, I would urge you to come to Him. He is God, the Son. He came to Earth as a man, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead on the third day.
Whoever will believe in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. He said, “Whoever will come to me, I will in no way cast out.”
He also said, “Whoever will, may come.” Come to Jesus Christ today. Believe in Him as Lord and Savior. Call on Him. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.” Want to hear more about this great Lord and Savior? Read the Gospel of John in the Bible. You might love it — and Him.
Now, for you who are a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ:
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 will have a hard time really grasping 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 that someone 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 surely 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, my God, loves me, and that’s enough.”
And the irony is, that is 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 “the 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).”