Acceptance, validation and approval are words that stand between us and our destiny. One of the first ways love is expressed in a nurturing household is through acceptance. A parents love allows a small child to feel approved of, secure and wanted. This is contestant even when the child makes mistakes. We all make mistakes. Yet Truth be told, God shows us that even the lest of us is worthy of His acceptance and love. This deep fundamental knowing, is key to living a successful and confident life.
Christ is a perfect example for everyone to see how the power of acceptance. He accepted the sinners, the lowest of low and in doing so filled their natural hunger acceptance which in itself dissolved their need to make wallow in their sinful natures and softened their hearts allowing them to accept themselves and receive God’s gift of forgiveness and therefore sin no more.
Unfortunately, it is more common to have a dysfunctional family than functional. It is more common for us to have to prove our worthiness than to be trained up knowing that we are worthy in the Lord. Growing up in a family that was critical or one that showed/voiced their disappointment of the child’s very nature, leaves a void within the soul and then becomes gluttony for others acceptance and approval.
I call it gluttony because it is a unquenchable hunger. This mainly unconscious need for acceptance and approval quickly turns into negative habits: the feelings of not being enough or good at all, turn into negative voices of un-worth. As teenagers it’s common to try to silence this self loathing by hanging out with anyone who will pay attention to us, often times these are destructive crowds which leads to drugs, stealing, sex and violence. The whole gang culture is built on this need to be accepted. The painful truth about these groups is that no one in them actually knows what it feels like to be accepted and approved of so they don’t trust one another and the fear of being dismissed is always present. So the habit of proving yourself to be accepted really never satisfies the hunger.
These adolescent habits (if survived) quickly transform upon maturity to more socially accepting groups and behaviors for example: over-eating, drinking, church groups were you have to prove yourself. This might mean hanging out with critical people, always feeling anxious, self-conscious and unworthy. Until true acceptance is experience, the first belief of being unacceptable will always haunt it’s host. I believe social media is also a place we seek approval and acceptance, via likes and friends, but this too is just a false since of worth standing between you and your divine destiny. All of these acts are attracting people that reaffirm the beliefs of the person seeking acceptance and approval, and since they don’t know true acceptance it is nearly impossible to recognize it when someone does accept them. If you feel like this pattern of not being accepted is present in your life, you are not alone.
There are 3 truths you need to know to begin to heal and feed this hunger.
1) First step to healing this and getting to know acceptance, happens inside yourself. Accept EVERYTHING about yourself – what we resist persists. For instance, if you feel like you are stuffing your face with food and you hate that about yourself you will probably keep struggling with over eating until you admit you overeat (we usually can do this), then make peace with yourself for over-eating (forgiveness), then stop trying to fix yourself and give it to God.
2) Forgive your parents (or caregivers) for not accepting you. And KNOW your maker, Abba Father loves you, accepts you and wants you. Nothing heals like God heals. Father God’s love has nothing to do with what church you go to or what others think is possible. No one believed miracles were possible but they are through God, no one accepted the Gentiles but God did, and the Jewish people did not approve of Christ but He saved us anyway. Because Jesus was always listening to God, having confidence in your relationship with God is all you need to know you are accepted and worthy. He is love and He loves YOU and wants you to accept yourself as His temple, His child and His riches here on earth.
3) We only recognize what we know. Have you ever saw a bought a brand new car and then began to see it everywhere? Or thought you understood something like parenting, until you became a parent and awakened to a whole new prospective? All of life reveals itself to us though experience. If you have never really felt the satisfaction of being accepted or if you have a hard time accepting others – give yourself some loving kindness. Stop criticizing and fixing others as well as yourself. Begin asking God – What does acceptance look like, feel like, act like? Once you allow God to show you acceptance it will be easier to receive and give it, as well as have compassion for your friends and family that are searching for it too.
BREAKTHROUGH moment – A HUG for you – sit back and take this 15 minute break to open heart and feed your soul.