Love becomes practically meaningless apart from acceptance…….Bob George, “Classic Christianity”
I recently picked up a book that someone had left at my Mom’s house. In it the author poses a question to his son, who had recently been going through some difficult situations. His son was quick to tell him that he had never doubted his father’s love for him, expressed in many different ways over the years. Though this pleased the father very much, he says he felt like there was something unfinished. He says that God put the thought in his head to ask the question, “Have you always known that I accept you?” His son asked him what he meant by that. His father said this:
“I mean, there is a difference between love and acceptance. You say you’re confident that I love you, but acceptance is something else. Do you know for example, that I accept you just like you are? That I really like you?”
The son goes on to say that, no, he really didn’t felt accepted even though he knew he was loved. He went on to say that he felt that his Dad would have liked him to be more spiritual, be more involved in Christian activities like he was, read his Bible more, or maybe went into full-time Christian work. This one exchange had the power to change their relationship forever.
How many times do we do the same thing to God. We feel loved by Him but do we feel accepted? I had to answer honestly that many times I do not. I have this unrealistic picture in my head of all the things I feel God wants me to do, and all I can seem to see is how many times I fail. How many times I don’t measure up to what I think God wants me to be, to do?
But the truth is, God accepts us and loves us just as we are. This should release a well-spring of joy inside us that people should be able to readily see. Until we really get that, we are a lamp partially dimmed, throwing out half light upon a world that needs full strength. So many times we walk around with an unrealistic picture in our own head that we will never be able to measure up to.
Walk through that door today, and feel His ocean of acceptance……..He has lived a perfect life, the one we never could live. He died and rose again so that we could walk in newness of life. We don’t have to try to be perfect anymore.
He does want us to mature and grow, but never believe for one second that He will only accept you if you reach a certain level and not until then.
Prayer for today: Help me God, to stop giving You my shabby religion and give you my whole accepted self. Amen