YOU ARE FOREVER ACCEPTED
“…[God]…hath made us accepted in the beloved...[FOREVER]...” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV).
Social-acceptance means you are safely welcomed and belong to a particular place, group, family, community, or relationship. In addition social-acceptance to places, groups, families, communities, or relationships also mean you are approved of, or favored, or validated by them.
Self-acceptance means you love who you are right now and are happy with yourself. Self-acceptance is being aware of both your vices and virtues and being okay with BOTH.
Social-acceptance and self-acceptance intermix and impact the healthy state and well-being of the other. Social acceptance impacts your sense of belonging. Self-acceptance impacts your sense of being affirmed or validated within the environments you believe you belong.
Social-acceptance impacts how individuals perceive they fit or don’t fit into their social environments. Self-acceptance impacts how individuals perceive they personally met or don’t meet so-called required standards of self in the present moment.
Social or self-acceptance rely on the ability to respect the differences and diversity – that don’t fit into the so-called majority standard - within yourself and others. The whole ideology of acceptance is about belonging and fitting in. However, belonging and fitting is largely based on the acceptability of the main-stream standard of self and the personal, perceived standard of self. In other words, what “they” think and what “you” think.
The desire to be accepted by others and by one’s own self can influence how people dress, their idea of beauty, whether they’ll smoke, drink, or party, take illegal drugs, their prejudices, their virtues, their vices, and their various other pursuits. The desire to be accepted and affirmed is powerful. It strongly motivates one’s behaviors throughout their entire lives.
Acceptance of any kind begins with YOU. Social and self-acceptance can represent two different ends of a pendulum. One end seeks acceptance outside of one’s self (social) and the other end seeks acceptance within one’s self (self).
Self-acceptance is of the utmost important of the two and people struggle with this one the most. Approving who you are, right now (virtues and vices), at this very moment in your life, regardless of who or what you were in the past, is self-acceptance.
It is important to develop the ability to look not only at your virtues, but your vices as well and feel peaceful about areas you lack confidence or strength. This is an active process which requires a fair and objective evaluation of self; mentally (thoughts, feelings, behaviors, etc.) and physically (body image, characteristics, etc.).
This self-evaluation includes an assessment of one’s vices and virtues without rejection, denial, repression, disowning, hating, or falsehoods. Self evaluation is about being open and honest with what YOU like or dislike about yourself.
This self-evaluation is easier said than done. Most people can’t face the things they dislike or hate in themselves without self-criticism, or rejection of some kind.
However, the purpose of self-evaluation, with open honesty, is to enlighten you to areas within your power to change and to accept the things you can’t. You can however, improve in all areas.
It takes time, work, and a new internal standard for self-approval, in order to understand, know, and become aware of who you are NOW and who you want to become. Remember, an internal standard for self-approval is the image into which you want to personally conform yourself.
The image into which you want to conform yourself will be the driving force behind much of your behavior. Your personal thoughts are constantly speaking to you about how you do or do not measure up to “that” image through ongoing comparisons. “….For by your [own]…words you will be justified (made right), and by your [own]...words you will be condemned (made wrong)…” (Matthew 12:37 NASB).
The internal standard for self-approval is the image into which you want to personally conform yourself and it often demands some form of so-called perfection of “that” image. There is absolutely, “….none that doeth good, no, not [even] ONE” (Romans 3:12 KJV). You and every single person on earth “… [have become]…..unclean and [their] righteousnesses (so-called perfection) are as filthy rags….” (Isaiah 64:6 KJV). “….there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not?” (Ecclesiastes 7:20 KJV). NO human being is perfect!!!
You have to kindly and compassionately ask yourself at some point: “Is this image realistic for me?” Trying to become some kind of “perfect” copy of the image into which you want to conform can create multiply insecurities.
Insecurities impact self-acceptance and you will end up NOT liking or hating some part of yourself, physically or mentally, because you are not yet or may never measure up to the image you desire. The more you don’t measure up, the worst your self-confidence gets as you continually compare yourself to that desired image.
This kind of comparison -against that desired image - can go on for a lifetime and you will NEVER approve, accept, or enjoy who you are or who you were meant to actual become. If you are never conformed into “that” image in which you desire; most likely you will NEVER reach a place of self-acceptance.
You will spend your life believing you were NOT acceptable. You will never know the joy or happiness of being affirmed and accepting yourself as God intended.
According to statistics, 85-90% of the world’s population is affected by low self-image. In most cases, caregivers were the first RESOURCE for love, but were only finite human beings, who may have earnestly intended to love unconditionally, but fell short. . “…All have sinned (including you) and fallen short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23).
Whatever areas, that important people, such as your caregivers, did not accept you and continually tried to change you – impacted your self-acceptance. Criticizing behavior is different from criticizing the individual.
For example: “You are Stupid” is criticizing the person. “That was a stupid thing you did” is criticizing the behavior. Again, 85-90% of the world’s population is affected by low self-image.
People will spend a lifetime internally motivated to meet some standard of self-approval based on an image they feel they need to conform into in order to be affirmed and validated at last.
Usually people will seek this approval through social-acceptance from individuals who are finite and lack a healthy self-image themselves. “… [ALL have become]….. unclean and [their] righteousnesses (so-called perfection) are as filthy rags….” (Isaiah 64:6 KJV).
They do this not realizing that trying to elicit social-acceptance from finite individuals, who also lack self-acceptance, got them into this predicament in the first place. “….there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not?” (Ecclesiastes 7:20 KJV). NO human being is perfect!!! Again, 85-90% of the world’s population is affected by low self-image.
For the believer, there is hope. God said about Jesus, “…This is my beloved Son: ….” (Mark 9:6 KJV). “[Thus, God]…hath made [YOU]… accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV). So, “…BE CONFORMED TO the IMAGE of His Son…” (Romans 8:29). “…BEAR the IMAGE of the heavenly man…” (1 Corinthians 15:49 NIV). HOW? “… [by faith]…we all ...are BEING TRANSFORMED into his IMAGE …” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).
Your old internal standard of self-approval is changed and now the image in which you want to conform is Jesus Christ. So “… BE…TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND …” (Romans 12:2 KJV). What you think affects your image. “…as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (PROVERBS 23:7 KJV).
“IN” Jesus, you already possess everything you will ever need to be conformed into the HIS image. “….For IN HIM we live, and move, and have our being (image, identity); …we are …his offspring….” (ACTS 17:28 KJV).
Your internal standard for self-approval is Jesus Christ, the image into which you have ALREADY become. “…if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).You no longer have to strive to be conformed to “that” image. “….all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV). You believe you are already “that” image. “….IN HIM we …have our being (image, identity) ….” (ACTS 17:28 KJV). “…It shall be done to you according to your faith…" (Matthew 9:29 NASB).
When you don’t accept yourself, what is the culprit? The culprit is that somewhere along life’s journey you learned to listen to someone else’s critical voice and then your own voice, took over, in an endless tirade of disapproval of self.“….For by your [own]...words you will be justified (made right), and by your [own]...words you will be condemned (made wrong]…” (Matthew 12:37 NASB). 85-90% of the world’s population is affected by low self-image.
God said, “….let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26 KJV). “…..God created man in his own image…..male and female created he them…” (Genesis 1:27 KJV). “….God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7 KJV). When “….God saw every thing he had made……and, [said] … it was VERY GOOD…” (Genesis 1:31 KJV).
“…The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave (bound, wrapped) to … [the sin nature and its critical mindset]…. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate., but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t.
I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I [am] …a slave to the sin that is … within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am!
Who will free me from this life that is dominated by [heart] sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord…” (Romans 7:14-25 NLT).
“…[God]…hath made [YOU]… accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV). Jesus is God’s “beloved Son” (Matthew 3:17). “….IN HIM we …have our being (image, identity) ….” (ACTS 17:28 KJV). “….old things are passed away; behold, all things are become newWhen God made man he said “… it was very good….” What happened? “…through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death passed to all men—“(Romans 5:12 KJV). “….God saw every thing he had made…was VERY GOOD…” (Genesis 1:31 KJV). “… one sinner destroy[ed]… much good…” (Ecclesiastes 9:18 NASB). The devil, that MAJOR sinner, only comes around “… to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” (John 10:10 KJV).
“….God saw every thing he had made…was VERY GOOD…” (Genesis 1:31 KJV).
However, God required “ONE” thing from his “…very good…” creation: “….of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou SHALT surely die…” (Genesis 2:16-17). “… [But]… the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall NOT surely die…” (Genesis 3:1 KJV). As you can see “… the devil …was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies…” (John 8:44 NLT). The devil is a liar and came into Adam and Eve’s life “… to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” them (John 10:10 KJV).
God DID NOT say not to “touch” the tree nor did he call it the “tree in the midst of the garden.” However, Eve replied in this manner to the lying devil “…but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, 'Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest ye die” (Genesis 3:3 KJV). What God actually said was, “….of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17 KJV).
When the lying devil (serpent) changed God’s Word from - “….thou SHALT surely die…” (Genesis 2:16-17) to“…Ye shall NOT surely die…” - man’s image drastically changed. “….. AT THAT MOMENT their eyes were opened…Then the Lord God asked…“What have you done? …“ …” (Genesis 3 NLT). Did they die? Yes. They immediately became “…dead in trespasses and sin” (Ephesians 2:1 KJV). “…through one man sin entered into the world, and DEATH through sin, and so death passed to all men—“(Romans 5:12 KJV). “… one sinner destroy[ed]… much good” (Ecclesiastes 9:18 NASB). .
“….For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned…” (Matthew 12:37 NASB). The devil’s words revealed he was a liar from the very beginning and hated God’s truth. God said “…Ye shall know them by their fruits…” (Matthew 7:16 KJV). Fruit won’t lie and will always tell the truth. The devil’s words were false and proved to be wrong.
It also proved his heart was full of evil intent. His own words condemned him as a liar. “…by your [own]…words you will be condemned…” (Matthew 12:37 NASB). Satan’s words proved and condemned him as liar; “…the Father of lies…”
The bible said lying was his native language, which tells you from what kind of spirit his words spring from. His heart is corrupt and full of destruction. His speech is full of falsehoods and contains no pure communication at all. “…the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart… “…[it is] …out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45 RSV). “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of…” (Luke 6:45 NIV). He is “…the Father of lies…”
However, after listening to the devil’s lying words, Eve ate the fruit and gave some to Adam. “…And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat…” (Genesis 3:6 KJV). This verses highlights the origin of low-esteem, which started with listening to the words of a LIAR.
“External” desire, through the knowledge of good and evil, was suddenly awaken. “….the woman SAW that the tree was good for food…” (Genesis 3:6). “… For everything in the world—….the lust of the eyes—….comes not from the Father but from the world…” (1 John 2:16-17 NLT). The tree evidently, was pleasant to gaze upon. “….and …it was pleasant to the eyes…” (Genesis 3:6). In addition, it possessed the power to make her prudent. “…a tree to be desired to make one wise...” (Genesis 3:6). “….when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, IT BRINGS FORTH DEATH…” (James 1:15 NASB). “…for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou THOU SHALT SURELY DIE…” (Genesis 2:16-17 KJV).
The devil immediately disputed the Word of God and said: “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil…” (GENESIS 3:5 NLT).
Satan’s lies opened the Pandora box of various “external lusts” that mankind is laden with today. Eve was unable to resist. “.. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:16-17 NLT).
Not only does Eve eat the fruit, but she gives it to her husband also. “…and although they know the ordinance of God …those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them…” (Romans 1:32 NASB).
Every single thing the devil says and does through his words or from his actions is to discredit and dishonor, the living, holy God of creation and “… to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” mankind, his esteemed creation, whom God loves (John 10:10 KJV).
That’s why the heart “…is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked…who can know it?…” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV). “For from within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts… wickedness… All these evil things come from within...” (Mark 7:21-23 KJV).
Therefore: whatever you did, whoever you were, whatever your mistakes, however long you did wrong; whoever you did wrong, whatever you are guilty of, regardless of life’s rejections, or in spite of our many, many, many flaws and shortcomings “…Where sin increased, [GOD’S]…grace abounded all the more…” (Romans 5:20 NASB). God’s “…grace is sufficient for you…” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB). His “…love covereth a multitude of sins…” (Proverbs 10:12, 1 Peter 4:8 ASV). GOD’S “…Mercy triumphs over judgement.” (James 2:13 NASB). Therefore, “….old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).
“… [God] …hath made [YOU]… accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV). Jesus is God’s “beloved Son” (Matthew 3:17). “….IN HIM we …have our being (image, identity) ….” (ACTS 17:28 KJV).
You may feel like Paul did: “The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).
God has made you “alive together with [Christ]…” (Colossians 2:13 ASV). “…ye are [part of]… a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people …[and God]… hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9 KJV).“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).
“…If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former CONVERSATION the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind…” (Ephesians 4:21-23 KJV). “…Be transformed by the renewing of your mind….” (Romans 12:1 KJV). AND “…be conformed to the image of his Son…” (ROMANS 8:29 KJV).
“…To be conformed to the image of his Son...” “KNOW” Christ is “IN” YOU (ROMANS 8:29 KJV). “…Jesus Christ is in you…” (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV). “…Christ in you, …” (Colossians 1:27 KJV). “…the Spirit of God dwell in you…” (Romans 8:9 KJV). “…if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you…” (Romans 8:11 KJV). You can say, “…Christ liveth in me…” (Galatians 2:20 KJV). “…Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you…” (1 Corinthians 6:19 KJV).
“…We all ..are BEING TRANSFORMED into his IMAGE …” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV). You can, by faith or dependence upon the indwelling Holy Spirit to, “…BEAR the IMAGE of the heavenly man…” (1 Corinthians 15:49 NIV).
Therefore, BECAUSE OF JESUS….RIGHT NOW, AT THIS MOMENT, “[God]…hath made [YOU]… accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV). JESUS HAS MADE YOU ACCEPTED FOREVER.