We often believe the lie: I MUST BE APPROVED AND ACCEPTED BY OTHERS TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF. This kind of thinking leads to judging self and others, perfectionism, and fear of rejection. When people fall into the trap of thinking this way, they become overly sensitive to criticism and try to please others at all cost. They withdraw from others to avoid disapproval.
This is the third in a series of four articles dealing with the grace of God, based on Robert McGee’s book, The Search for Significance, (2003 Thomas Nelson). McGee, the founder of RAPHA, makes the bold proclamation, I am deeply loved, fully pleasing, totally forgiven, accepted and complete in Christ.
What is God’s truth? I AM TOTALLY ACCEPTED IN CHRIST. Think about that for a moment. Totally accepted. Can I really bring that truth into my life? This startling revelation is backed by a lot of Scripture. Here’s a short Biblical painting of God’s grace:
This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through his death on the cross through his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. (Col 1:21-22) …as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psa 103:12) His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure. (Eph 1:5) Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? (Rom 8:33)
What does this mean to a Christian? I will guard my thoughts. I will turn away from the lies and distortions of the world and focus on Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I know that my worth and value are a gift from God. My true worth and value do not spring from the arbitrary opinions of selfish people. God made me. God chose me. God has accepted me. Therefore, I refuse to gauge my self-image on the opinions of others. I will not seek acceptance through the praise of others. I will find my significance in God’s love, and not in my own performance and achievement.
God has accepted me the way a father accepts his own beloved son. I am his small child—He will never reject me. Therefore, I choose by faith to view myself the way God sees me. I accept myself and the world He has provided for me. I no longer judge myself or others. I no longer fear rejection.
May the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit fill your heart and keep you focused on Jesus Christ all the days of your life.