Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The meaning of acceptance

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10).

The man or woman of God must learn that freedom from rejection and the praise of men comes from experiencing a greater acceptance and approval from Jesus. It allows you not only to accept others but also to have a greater confidence in Jesus. Jesus loves and accepts me even when I mess up, fail in my performance, and sin. Knowing that I am loved and accepted is my armor and shield of faith.

Perhaps you're facing a situation where you feel defeated by criticism, disapproval, humiliation, and exposure of your weaknesses. Tell Jesus how you feel. Clearly communicate your despair, discouragement, and frustration in prayer. Put your sense of hopelessness into words. Let Jesus know just how serious the situation has become for you. "Cast all your cares on him, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).

Then become part of a small group that can encourage and help you carry your burdens. Find some friends you can trust. Fear of rejection often makes accountability scary. But no matter how deep the fear or how hard it may seem, a small group of friends will give you love, acceptance, and forgiveness rather than rejection. Their counsel will help you grow in Jesus and focus on the positive (Philippians 4:8). There are people who genuinely love you for who you are, not for something you can do for them. Cultivate these friends. Jesus will help you find them.

Christians who are trying to establish a healthy self-image for themselves are missing the point altogether. They're focusing on who they are in Christ, rather than on who Christ is in them. Instead, get caught up in reflecting the glory of Jesus instead of living the way of the Jesus. Behold the beauty of His majesty and glory. As you give yourself to beholding His face, you won't have any more problems with your self-image. You'll forget about yourself and will be completely consumed with the beauty of His face.

Remember when we walk in his presence and behold his face and reflect his glory, we are changed into the likeness of Christ. Who else do we need to approve of us?

Peace and love,

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

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