Yearning for More Than Conditional Acceptance
We live in a society full of hypersensitive animosity, prepared to be offended before an offense even takes place. On an interpersonal level, if our needs or demands are not met, we do not accept those around us. We write them off in our minds, reject them, or consider them unworthy of our attention. How many churches are reduced to enmity and groups striving against one another? The pecking order of school life is a hotbed which can lead to abuse, leaving scars that affect our self worth. Throughout our life, the message we receive is our value equals the conditional criteria with which we must we measure up.
The human heart longs to be accepted. The experience of being rejected or feeling unwelcome is painful. The more subtle forms often hurt the most. The looks, the gossip, the snubs. Remarks are directed under the breath or just within earshot for us to hear. The statement is clear, "You are not OK".
If the definition of our value is defined by others, we will be disappointed and empty. God meets our tremendous need for love. We do not have to play games to be accepted by God, nor go through life striving for worth or struggling with shame. Before Him we are bare to the core. He knows our secret faults and understands the pain no one else sees.
We talk a great deal about love. From songs and books, to gurus it is a theme. Most of the time our understanding of love is that of superficial sentimentality, a vague fuzzy emotion. With those we find acceptable, it is easy to feel nice. Who will love us in the dark when we are alone? When we hate ourselves, are rejected, or fall flat on our face and fail? Until we receive genuine love, we are left with emptiness.
There is no avoiding we have a sin problem. It is this dark reality where God shows the depths of His love. He gave His very Son for us. Christ suffered for our sin. The Lord of the Universe died to bring us to Himself. In this living truth we are free in the joy of being accepted by the God who created us.
Our chains are broken in the radical love of Jesus Christ. He who was spat on, rejected, mocked, and made fun of even as He died for what separates us from Him, loves us inexpressibly. We can count on this, no matter how much we are hurt by others. His love abides with us daily in power and mercy. God's acceptance is not fickle, nor does it change as the wind blows. Our worth is secure in Him.
In a world of emotional games, a world of longing hopes unfulfilled, the truth of the words of Scripture below are a shining light. It is in Jesus that we are secure and loved:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life". John, 3:16.