April ’21: Finding Acceptance in God
By Cindy Lim
Spring is a delightful time of the year! The days get brighter, the flowers start to bloom, the birds return with their chirping. Spring is also a time of much anxiety and stress for the many students who have applied to post-secondary institutions for their first time, for graduate studies or for professional programs. As they wait to hear if they’ve been accepted or not, questions will swirl around them like: Did I work hard enough? Will my grades be good enough? Did I volunteer enough? How were my references? How did I rank in the interview? Which offer should I take? What will I do if I don’t get in?
The desire for acceptance is not limited to schools of course. Many of us have felt at one time or another the need to feel validated, approved and accepted by others. This might influence the way we dress, the way that we talk, the car we buy, the career that we choose. We can even find ourselves behaving in ways that are not true to ourselves.
If you really stop and think about it for a moment, the only thing that really matters in life is that God accepts us! What a humbling and wondrous truth that is to believers. When we hear the gospel, confess our sins and put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we are adopted into God’s family and become heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:15) There is nothing we can do to earn or work for our salvation. Ephesians 2:4-5 says “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”
Our self-esteem and self-worth does not have to be dependent on what others think of me. Our God who sees all and knows everything about us (inside and out) accepts us just as we are – as broken, wretched, wayward people – into His family. Unlike the world, we are accepted regardless of age, class, education, ethnicity, status or any other man-made standards. God’s family is truly diverse and inclusive!
Therefore, when you feel unworthy, unloved or unaccepted, you can rest on the amazing truth that God loves you unconditionally and has chosen you to be a part of His family. He will protect, provide and care for you. “[He] has blessed [you] in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3) And as His child, He has a plan for your life as promised: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Dear Heavenly Father – awaken us to the reality that you have accepted us just as we are and that is the greatest blessing of all. We know that we are works-in-progress. May your Holy Spirit guide us and transform us to be more like Jesus. May our lives reflect you and point others to your saving grace. In Christ’s name. Amen.