Four years ago today, I graduated from high school. Let that sink in. I’ve been out of high school as long as I was in high school. That’s so weird.
During the last few months of my senior year, I waited and waited for my acceptance letter to Liberty to come in the mail. Two months felt like two years, especially when the next four years depended on a piece of paper.
So, when that “acceptance package” came in the mail, with instructions for the next steps, a t-shirt, and my acceptance letter, I was super relieved. I was so excited that I had actually gotten into college and wasn’t going to community college.
Yesterday, I spent an entire post talking about rejection, in two different forms: car inspection rejections and relationship rejections. If you didn’t read it, I’ll recap it for you: I hate rejection, and sometimes when we’re rejected it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with us. I just saved you about 10 minutes.
So, what’s the opposite of rejection? Acceptance.
To be accepted is to be welcomed and wholly approved of, or at least that’s how I define it. I love being accepted. It’s a great feeling. And, at its core, there’s nothing wrong with acceptance. Sometimes it’s a freeing notion, allowing us to open up and walk in authenticity.
But, there’s a danger in acceptance. When we seek out acceptance as a means of fulfillment and satisfaction, that’s when we cross the line of safety and get hurt by it, just like we would be hurt by rejection.
If you’ve sought acceptance as your means of fulfillment and satisfaction, here are a few things I want you to hear:
- The approval and acceptance of man doesn’t make the world spin on its axis, so it doesn’t have to make your world go ’round. Above all else, if you hear nothing else, remember that you don’t have to live for others’ acceptance. You are already unconditionally, unapologetically, and unendingly accepted by God. And His acceptance is all we need.
- At the end of the day, acceptance doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. People are fickle creatures, and their acceptance of you can literally change minute to minute. This cheapens acceptance, taking the meaning and depth out of feeling welcomed and wanted. So, as long as you’re living for God’s acceptance, who cares what other people think?
- You’re not an inadequate person if people don’t accept you. I lived for years thinking that just because I wasn’t accepted in my group of “friends,” I was inadequate. It turns out that I was just in the wrong place and wrong group. There ARE people who will accept you for who you are, just keep looking.
No matter what, God accepts you. Take your junk, your dirtiness, your skeletons in the closet to Him. He won’t run. He won’t shy away. He’s a God of second chances, redemption, and misfit people. He can handle you, and still accepts you with all of you scars.