May 6, 2013

Acceptance is a Gift

Acceptance is an interesting concept... what does it mean to really be accepted?  Ok we all know the definition of the word acceptance but what does that mean for you, and me?

Acceptance is a tricky thing... you see, as Christians, do we need to to work to be accepted?  I would guess that most of us would say yes, I know I would.  We all know those people who try really hard to be accepted into a group of people, but really deep down we all do it, we all want to be accepted by our peers or different groups of people.  For some reason we are under the impression that there is happiness in being accepted by a specific person or peer group.  Sometime we yearn to be accepted because it might help us get in the 'spotlight'.  How do we get accepted into a specific group of friends?  We often feel like we have to work really hard, we might need to change or try and be something we aren't.  Sadly, we may even been do things we wouldn't normally do.

The real question should be how do we get accepted into the family of God.  We all know it feels great in the moment to finally be accepted by that person or group you've been working so hard to get acknowledgement from.  The thing is, acceptance we might find here on earth is only temporary, those people might hurt you or maybe for no reason you find yourself on the 'outside' again.  Trust me I strongly believe in the importance of community I just don't believe we have to 'work' to gain acceptance in a specific community or by a specific person.

Image from Julia at Stars and Sun Shines
Let's break down before we go any further, we shouldn't be working to be accepted by anyone, we should naturally be accepting new people into our community just by walking through every day life.  Building friendships and being accepted is a process here on earth, except for one relationship our relationship with God.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For by grace we have been saved through faith, And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." What does that mean? Well first of all we have one very awesome and gracious God who has saved us by grace.  All we need to do is put out faith in Him, believe in Him, the death of His son Jesus on the cross bearing our sins and His resurrection three days later, turn from our sins and live a life that is honouring and glorifying to the Him, period.  It does not go on to say that we also need to work to be accepted by Him, actually these verses in Ephesians go on to say the exact opposite.  These verses tells us that it's not our own doing, but rather it's a gift.  Can you believe it?  His grace is simply a gift offered to us if we put our faith in Him and if we do that one thing we are accepted and are called His own.

It's a daily struggle for me, to remember this amazing gift of acceptance from God.  In this broken world there are so many opportunities to stumble and struggling with acceptance from others and even accepting ourselves but I need to remind there is no acceptance greater then that from God.

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