Hope Discovery of the Day;
We find acceptance when we give it.
Scripture of the Day:
“For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.”
Waiting in the cafeteria, I looked out at the basketball team, all standing in a group, just waiting for me to walk out. Someone on the team had spread a rumor that I had said something, which I hadn’t, and there ya have it, they all wanted to beat me up. My stomach was in knots and breathing was shallow. My mind spun with details of the situation, contemplating a way of escape. How was I going to get out of this situation?
This day is lodged in my brain as a moment when God just showed up through one friend and defended me. I did not need a lot of people to defend me. Just one. I did not need acceptance from the masses. Just one. And that one friend went and stood in front of the basketball team and told them that they would have to go through her first. How Christ-like. She willingly chose to put herself in harm’s way to protect me. Let’s just say the team was not willing to go toe-to-toe with her. Thank God.
Being relieved of the imminent danger, I wondered what was it in my friend that made her willing to not just defend me, but to boldly go out and face them like she did. She was not seeking their acceptance, but she got it. Isn’t that how acceptance is? It is elusive to the one grasping to obtain it and available to the one who could care less. We get acceptance when we don’t need it. When we are whole and perfectly fine with who we are. We don’t need anyone to define our worth. God already did. We find acceptance when we give it.
Acceptance from man is a fickle thing because man is not dependable. Yet God calls us to relate to and reach those around us with His love. So how are we supposed to reach those around us if we are not accepted by them?
We are not responsible to make acceptance happen, just to demonstrate the love of God to all around us. God is the one who produces results. Pursuing acceptance for our glory is vain. Seeking to help others know and accept God is the only acceptance we need to pursue.
Not everyone is a part of our tribe. Being ok with this truth is very freeing, yet sometimes we can get bugged because of one who opposes us in a sea of people who are for us. Why is that?
We all want to belong. God made us this way. He made us for relationship; not so we would worship at the throne of acceptance by all, but so we could all be a part of His body, serving and knowing those who are supposed to be a part of our “sphere”.
We were not made to seek acceptance but to offer it, instead. Unconditionally and without judgment. We can waste a lot of energy trying to get others to be ok with who we are when we should be others-focused, instead. When we live in such a way as to serve God without worrying about impressing man, we will find acceptance by those we were called to reach.
“Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.”
Lord, help us to minister your grace, truth, and love to those You have called us to. May we not allow the fear of man to be a snare or a distraction. Thank You for accepting us. Help us to offer this same acceptance to others even when they might not accept us.