The meaning of the word acceptance according to google is;
“the process or fact of being received as adequate, valid, or suitable.”
Going by this definition, it’s safe to say that there is a desire in every human to be accepted in one way or the another. This isn’t always a bad thing. If God has put this desire in us, then it is good.
It’s normal for us to want to be found adequate and suitable for a position. It feels good to be validated and to be accepted by others. However this desire can also become a bad thing when not channeled properly.
There was a season in my life when i wanted to be accepted by others so much so that i was ready to do things that i usually wouldn’t do. As i shared before, i experienced a lot of bullying growing up. I tried to overcome this by finding people to mingle with. The more friends i made, the more i felt validated. This also had a part to play in the story i shared here. Whenever a friend left me, i felt rejected and not wanted. I wanted to know and hear what others thought of me. I outdid myself in everything just so i could be validated.
The family friend we had then made me feel very inferior. As i was suffering from sexual molestation from one of the boys, his other siblings made me feel like i wasn’t pretty and they would say all sort of nasty things to me. I ended up in the same Uni with their little sister who was my best friend at the time. Yes i kept her as a bestie because we weren’t really allowed to mingle with a lot of people. And i wasn’t sure of finding any other friend if i left her or rather if she left me. On getting to Uni, i realised that they weren’t living the life they pretended to be living at home. In an attempt to remain “cool” with them, i followed suit.
I began to entertain things i would normally not do. Although i knew the path they were leading me wasn’t good, i stayed with them because of my desire to be accepted.
Looking back now, i now understand why that vacuum was never filled. I was seeking approval from the wrong places.
The moment we start living our lives to please others, those people become our idols. We find ourselves, almost automatically doing what they do. On the flip side, when we start living our lives to please God, the same happens. We find ourselves doing what God loves.
In church, i used to wonder why people don’t just get me. I consider myself as pretty easy going as i can laugh about anything (maybe i laugh too much haha!). I never could not understand why i was always misunderstood. At some point, i decided to just do my thing, come to church to worship and go home because i didn’t feel like i belonged there. And i’m not going to over spiritualize this by saying i just ignored people blah blah and i got over it. Nope. There were nights of crying. Days of asking my husband questions like “babes please tell me the truth. Am i a bad person?”. Honestly it’s a horrible feeling to always be misunderstood even when you say simple things.
In that season, one day i came across this scripture and it was a game changer for me.
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. Galatians 1:10
I shared both experiences for a reason. The one that happened earlier on in my life was because i was seeking approval in the wrong place. The one in church was because even if i necessary wasn’t seeking approval as at that point i have started understanding God more, i still felt disappointed and frustrated because i felt church should be better and safer when it comes to things like this.
I believe that the devil uses past experiences to haunt us. So even if i was in the church, he was making me feel like i didn’t belong there.
So when i had a revelation of the scripture above, my confidence in God grew. And now i can honestly say i could care less what anyone thinks of me. I didn’t get here overnight. It took years of pressing into God. The more i pressed into God, the more people’s opinion and perception of me looks so minute.
If God says i’m good, then i’m good. I’m now able to see things through this lens and as such i can tolerate people a lot more than i used to. Church feels different now in a better way.
So if you can relate to this post, i encourage you to study the bible verse above and tell God to shed light into it for you. You are accepted by God. Stop trying to be a man pleaser because nothing you do will ever be good enough in the eyes of man, so why waste time pleasing men?
So long you aren’t arrogant, don’t allow people’s opinion control your life. This is only when you will find peace.