the search for acceptance

Acceptance is a core need that we all share. we can go to extreme lengths to be accepted by those around us.

what’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done in an attempt to be accepted by a person or group?

orientation or pledge week at most university campuses provides many entertaining examples.
politicians campaign for the public’s acceptance of their leadership.

we apply for jobs in pursuit of acceptance of our gifts and skills.

and we woman, my goodness the numerous tactics we have applied to be accepted can be mind blowing.

why do we do it? i believe it’s a search for significance.

to gain an understanding of why this search is so important to you and i, we should consider:

why are you here? on earth, I mean?

were you born to be a mother, a successful business person, a musician, a minister? all are noble jobs. were you born to do jobs?

do you have children? did you have them so they could take on the jobs you don’t like to do? was that your motivation for bringing them into your life? no, it wasn’t, was it? would you be satisfied if that was the only purpose for having your children in your life?

are you satisfied in thinking that the reason you exist is for the work or job you do? what happens if that job ends; the kids grow up, you are fired from the business you love, an accident prevents you sharing your skill/talent or your ministry/career is not all you envisioned it to be? often in such cases, we struggle with our purpose and self worth?

intuitively our being cries out for more than that.

how could we ever find peace in the thought that this was it, bang we’re here, do a bit of work while you are here and smack – when’s it’s over, it’s over? nothing else?

the verses in Genesis 1 say we were created out of a deep desire for relationship. the Creator did not have jobs in mind for us when He created us. He made us in His image; therefore, we feel, think, understand, create, have wisdom, process facts and knowledge, show emotion, plan, reason, experience and set and attain goals. being who He is, He then is the source of these things in our lives.

we learn our significance in the context of relationship. all of creation is created with relationship in mind including nature. everything has an interrelation. i hate insects yet insects play an important role in the balance and growth in a garden.

another example is music. a single note is nice but put three notes together as a chord and there is a beautiful harmony.

nothing was designed for isolation. i think that is why isolation and rejection are such destructive wounds.

faith is important in the pursuit of acceptance. the relationship with the Creator was intended to keep us full (fulfilled). our needs can only be met in the context of relationship; firstly with God as the source then others as a resource.

others, although you love and adore them, are broken just as you are. therefore, if you turn your eyes from looking at the source (God, The Father) toward others to fulfil your needs, what is reflected back is not true intimacy, acceptance, value and belonging. you actually get a reflection of their brokenness, their lack of wholeness.

this is how we get hurt and wounded. If you look into the eyes of a depressed or drunken friend, spouse or family member and hope that they can reflect to you the value you are looking for, you will only find pain. They don’t have it to reflect back to you. they may give it their best shot but you may find some disappointments.

remember, i talked previously about the three parts of our being: body, soul and spirit. your body’s needs must be met with the appropriate elements (food, water, oxygen) – you can’t just use your thoughts to think of food and stay healthy. your spirit requires faith, hope, reverence, worship and truth for well-being. with the proper nourishing & relationship with your Creator, your spirit receives the acceptance, value and sense of belonging it longs for. this provides a proper foundation for self-acceptance so that in turn you can build stronger relationships with others.

step one in attaining acceptance is to recognise what true acceptance looks like (head for wisdom & Truth) and where to find it. secondly, when we get a true reflection, we can then accept ourselves. when we truly accept ourselves, we can learn to graciously accept others.

when we are broken hearted, we tend to reflect that brokenness to those around us. sad but true. we can learn how to gain acceptance…then give it…

everyone has a redeeming quality that we can accept and love…