People the world over desire to be accepted and appreciated. Generally speaking, all of us want our peers to express approval so we can experience the feeling of acceptance. Though Christians understand that emotions are unreliable indicators of truth, believers also fall into this pattern of searching for approval.
Truthfully, one of our most priceless possessions is God’s acceptance of us as we are now. Thanks to Jesus Christ, we own a full measure of God’s grace. The Father does not say, “When you clean up your life, I’ll accept you.” Grace plus performance is not a workable formula in God’s economy. If being a Spirit-filled believer meant achieving some lofty standard of behavior on our own, we would all wear ourselves out in the attempt.
Performance-based faith is a worldly idea. People alter their clothes, habits, finances, and jobs to gain acceptance from peers. The only problem is that the people who like your appearance today won’t like it tomorrow. It is true you can’t please everybody, but you can please the Lord by recognizing that He accepts you unconditionally. We have all the status we need: We are children of God and ambassadors of Jesus Christ, living in the kingdom of light!
If we ignore our acceptance by God, then we will end up in the world’s cycle of effort and activity, attempting to earn the Lord’s acknowledgement. Freedom and intimacy are rooted in His freely given acceptance. Instead of shielding ourselves from His judgment, we can bask in God’s gracious love.