Acceptance covers such a large range of feelings for everyone. From the time we enter our first day of school as a child until we take our last breath, our life is filled with the question of acceptance. I can remember my first day of school; I was left by my dad in this big room with about thirty kids and a woman I didn’t know. The feelings I felt in that room didn’t last long, but I would face my own insecurities and the need for approval again many times in later years. Throughout life we are required to interact with other humans in many different kinds of settings and for many of us the need for approval becomes overwhelming at times – especially if we have a difficult time accepting ourselves.
The fact is, I am not perfect. I began my journey in this life with imperfections. It seems like life has made it an aim to point out all of my imperfections and to make sure that I know how imperfect I am. The only comfort is the fact that no one is born perfect nor lives a perfect life. The Apostle Paul said it this way, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
What I need is unconditional acceptance. You don’t find that very often, if not ever, during this journey of life. That is why the best and really only starting point for acceptance is knowing and understanding that we are accepted by our Creator. “We can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place” (Hebrews 10:19-20 NLT).
In the Old Testament the Most Holy Place was where God’s presence was and only the High Priest could go in. “And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him” (v.21).
Nothing that you have ever done or that’s ever happened to you could ever cause you not to be accepted by God. Why? Because of the blood of Jesus Christ you are accepted by God and accepted in God’s family.
One of the tags the world tries to put on the church is that we are judgmental and not accepting of broken people. That is so untrue. God’s house is a place for everybody and anybody. We have always said that the church is a “hospital where sick people are being healed.” It is a “body and fender shop where a bunch of wrecks are being worked on.” The church is a place for me, for you, and for all of us. Here are a few things the Hebrews writer gives us:
1. You are Welcome in God’s house.
Hebrews 10:21 says, “And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him.” We are welcome in God’s house. That’s where, Jesus says, we are brothers and sisters. Have you ever heard the phrase: “He ain’t heavy. He’s my brother?” To brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, you ain’t heavy. You have a need? Hey, we can help. Hebrews 10:22 says, “For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.”
Someone else may look at you or me and see only our flaws. But when God sees us he sees us through the blood of Jesus. God told the Prophet Samuel “God does not look on the outward appearance. He looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) You are accepted by God no matter what.
2. Become an Encourager to others.
The Hebrews writer continues with, “Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love” (10:24). Create new ways? In other words, I can’t stay in the place of feeling unaccepted, alone and isolated. If I am willing to move out of my place of anxiety, depression or hurt and find creative ways to encourage someone else. How will that help me? Oh! You will be surprised how encouraging someone will awaken new life within you.
3. Spread a little Love around.
A country songwriter said it like this,
Sometimes this crazy world can make us all feel bad
I sit and watch the news and just get mad
We need to stop and smell the roses in the ground
So get out today, you spread a little love around
Talk to a neighbor, volunteer a favor
Help out a stranger when his car’s broke down
Give your wife a kissin’, when your kids talk, listen
It makes a lovely sound, spread a little love around
4. Just start by Getting Together with someone.
“This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward . . .” (v25). So, “don’t pull away.” Please, do not neglect meeting together. Get with someone today. See what God will do for you in return.
Listen to the audio messages, Overwhelmed here.