From "Webster's New World Thesaurus"...
accepted a. taken, received, assumed, approved, adopted, recognized, endorsed, verified, acclaimed, welcomed, engaged, hired, claimed, delivered, used, employed, affirmed, upheld, authorized, preferred, acknowledged, accredited, allowed, settled, established, sanctioned, unopposed, customary, authentic, confirmed, chosen, acceptable, popular...When you really think about it, being or feeling accepted is probably one of the strongest desires we have relationally as human beings. Doesn't everyone want to be welcomed, recognized, affirmed, acknowledged, and chosen? I want that, not just from my husband, but from other people. We could say we don't care what anyone else thinks, but is that actually possible for human beings? We may withdraw, build walls, act eccentric, say we don't care, but believing that God has created us to be relational, Adam was lonely without Eve, I have to believe that deep within it hurts to not feel accepted, no matter who you are.
I can't believe how much weight we give other people's opinion of us. People have the power to determine whether we are acceptable or not?!?! Unless we have a healthy dose of self-esteem and confidence in who we are the words & actions of people can really rock your world. God created us to be unique. There is no one on this earth like you. The special combinations that make up your personality, character, and talents are unique to you. Twins may look alike on the outside, but who they are inside is matchless. (Let me stop for a moment and say how amazing is God?) Who are we to decide whether someone else is acceptable or not?
Our desire to be accepted is really about love. How do we feel accepted by other people? Boil it all down and it comes down to love. After kind of processing through the idea of acceptance, I think I could have had a very different and much more concise answer to Adam's bible study question...I feel most accepted by him when I feel loved. I'm sure a follow-up question would have ensued, like "what makes you feel loved?". I feel loved & accepted when I feel like it's okay to be me. There is grace in loving someone inspite or despite their mistakes and/or their quirky, annoying habits. But it's the same grace we hope others will extend to us under the same circumstances.
"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." ROMANS 15:7I want to say that accepting someone does not mean enabling or denying their sins. We are not to judge or hold their sins against them, but we can love them. The Bible calls us to "speak the truth to each other" (ZECHARIAH 8:15 NIV). "If someone is trapped in sin, you should gently lead that person back to the right path...offer each other a helping hand" (GALATIANS 6:1-2 CEV). Knowing we are all sinners this just means we should all be helping each other, loving each other, accepting each other.
God loves you and accepts you, all the time, unconditionally.
"God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (JOHN 3:16)
"Amazing love, how can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love, I know it’s true
It’s my joy to honor You
In all I do, I honor You
I’m forgiven because You were forsaken
I’m ACCEPTED, You were condemned
I’m alive and well, Your Spirit lives within me
Because You died and rose again"
--AMAZING LOVE/YOU ARE MY KING