We all have a basic need. At the core of our being, there is a nagging question, a wondering. It is a deep and profound ponderance to which an answer is essential. The question, both simple and profound, is this: Am I fully and completely accepted? Could someone really love me just as I am?
It is, in essence, the fairy tale that everyone – deep inside – dreams about. It’s the Beast being loved by Beauty. It is the commoner chosen to be the bride of the handsome prince. It’s the homeless Ebola-stricken orphan from Liberia adopted into the wealthy British family. It is the prostitute repeatedly pursued by her faithful husband.
To be accepted – fully accepted – is the epitome of our hope. Yet, at the same time, we realize that such acceptance is too far beyond our wildest dreams. Why? Because we know, on the inside, that we are not worthy of such acceptance. We are undeserving. We have absolutely no right to expect such acceptance. Homeless, ugly, disease-ridden whores like us deserve only rejection. Fairy tale endings only happen in fairy tales. Intrinsically, we know this.
So, we have three choices of response to our deep need for acceptance.
- We can embrace false acceptance offered by the world. In other words, we suppress the truth of our unacceptability with a lie. I’m not really as bad as all that.
- We wallow in our non-acceptance, knowing that we will always be homeless, ugly, sickly beasts, worth nothing unless we are bought and sold. We live constantly in a woe-is-me state, recognizing that we can never make ourselves acceptable.
- We see a tiny glimpse of God’s lavish mercy and acceptance. We receive the grace extended to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and we revel in knowing that the Lord Most High loves and accepts us, warts and all.
“He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him… In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us…” (Ephesians 1:4, 7-8)
He chose us!
We are blameless and holy in His sight!
We have been granted forgiveness!
He has lavished His grace upon us!
This year, find your worth – your true acceptance – in Him alone.