Sin has sabotaged our self-worth. We either erroneously compensate by shifting our value to external factors, efforts and achievements or we languish in the darkness of doubt, insecurity, guilt or even self-loathing.
There is a better way. Jesus opened a path to redemption, deliverance and wholeness.
One of the most profound aspects of our new life in Jesus Christ is that we are accepted; we are valued; we are seen for who we truly are and we are embraced.
The life of faith and surrender to Christ allows us to lay down our pretenses, our facades and experience the divine acceptance of God.
This miracle of acceptance does not mean that God is unconcerned with our hearts, our attitudes, our behavior or our way of life. However, it does mean that He values us and loves us not because of what we do or how we look or even how we behave; rather, his divine love and acceptance emanates from his own divine nature. We do not inspire God’s love nor can we diminish it. Paul testifies to the astounding love of God that is not earned but freely given: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
God loved me before I was saved, before I repented, before I read the Bible through, before I aspired to live a godly life, before I preached a sermon, before I pastored a church, before I led someone to Christ. In fact, God loved me before I was even born. And He loves you the same way.
Sadly, we still often struggle with the concept and the experience of divine acceptance. And when we stray from the pure joy of God’s acceptance, we muddle up the commandment to accept one another.
When is the last time the feeling welled up inside of you, “God likes me”? He knows me, he sees me, he accepts me, he delights in me!
When I relish the true acceptance of God through faith in Christ, it doesn’t leave me with a sense of dangerous entitlement to do whatever I please without consequence; on the contrary, it frees me, inspires me, empowers me to grow, to mature, to develop, to become more like my Father in my desires, my attitudes, my behavior, my life.