Every person hungers for acceptance. We all want to be wanted. God created us with that craving. We were endued with a longing for community, and this desire is fulfilled only when we are accepted.
Tragically, that acceptance usually has strings attached. Everyone seems to want something in return for their acceptance. We tend to give up far too much to get what we want or pay far too high a price for what should be free. Acceptance has become a bartering chip people use to elevate in position, power, or prestige. It is no longer an act of dignity and honor. We have forgotten that all men and women are created in the image and likeness of God.
There is another option, although in God’s opinion this is really not an option—it’s His will. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. A huge ingredient in the recipe for love is acceptance. In fact, God has accepted us in the Beloved—in and through His Son, Jesus Christ. Our acceptance is based not on what we have done, can do, or will ever be able to do. It is based on the unconditional love of God the Father. It is freely extended to us, but its cost for the Father was the death of His Son. The life of Jesus purchased acceptance for you and me. Once that payment has been applied to the debt we could never pay, we are accepted by God. If God accepts you—you are accepted—right where you’re at—just like you are. This alone is the satisfaction for the desperate craving deep within. It is a done deal in the mind of God through faith in Jesus Christ—no strings attached.
The King’s kids respond to this concept with joy, while slaves react with unbelief thinking somehow they must gain it through their efforts. This is the great chasm between grace and works. Grace will take you to heights you can only daydream about in the midst of your works.
The term “acceptance” doesn’t even translate into the language of a slave. It is counterintuitive to their mindset. But the shackles of slavery are destroyed whenever a man or woman embraces God’s acceptance. Once it is received (the only way it can be had), the sweet taste of freedom immediately makes one forget the rotten flavor of servitude. There is no comparison.
Sons and daughters—blue bloods—thrive and grow in the atmosphere of God’s acceptance, but slaves work harder, frustrated that their labor only seems to push what they hunger for even farther away. Take a moment and reflect on your mindset and lifestyle. What do your attitudes and actions reveal concerning your understanding of God’s acceptance? Is it a heady concept you’ve heard of or a heart-fact you live in?
Blue Bloods: Slaves:
Live under grace Live by works
Seek relationship Flee relationship
Thrive in relationship Thrive on rules/religion
Are secure, at rest, and at peace Are insecure and lack peace
Are totally at peace in God’s love and grace Strive for man’s approval and praise
Positive and affirmed Self-rejected—always comparing themselves to others
Respectful and honors authority Distrustful, unsubmitted, and rebellious toward authority
Receive correction as a blessing Always right and correction is punishment
Acceptance is the missing key that will unlock any chain of slavery holding you, but you must stop struggling and accept it. Once you give up, it will slide gently in that rusty lock, and the click you hear will be your first breath of real freedom in Christ.