"If God says his chosen ones are acceptable to him, can anyone bring charges against them? Or can anyone condemn them? No indeed!" (Romans 8:33-34)
Most of us spend our entire lives trying to earn acceptance. We want to earn it from our parents, peers, partners in life, from people we respect, maybe even from people we envy. The drive to be accepted is a deep drive that can influence the kind of clothes you wear, the kind of car you drive, the kind of house you buy, and even the career you choose.
Remember how, as a kid, you wanted so badly to be in the in-crowd that someone would say to you, "I dare you to do this" and suggest something that was either stupid or that put your personal safety at risk. But you did it anyway, because your desire to be accepted overruled the desire for safety.
We do it because we love the feeling of being accepted. When you’re accepted, it does tremendous things for your self-esteem. The truth is, Jesus accepts you, and that acceptance is not based on your performance. In fact, you may have received Christ and accepted Jesus into your life, but do you realize that you’re able to do that because Jesus accepted you? You don't have to earn his acceptance; you don't have to prove yourself to him.
We need to stop thinking, “I've got an un-pleaseable God up there, and I've got to be a good boy or good girl to be accepted." God, through Jesus Christ, has already accepted you. That’s the Good News!
Talk About It
Knowing God accepts you sets you free from always being worried about being accepted by others. Why should criticism bother you if the Creator of the universe accepts you?
Knowing God accepts you helps you to accept others: “Therefore, accept each other in the same way that Christ accepted you. He did this to bring glory to God” (Romans 15:7 GW).
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.