by Rick Warren
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 4:9 NIV)
Most of us spend our entire lives trying to earn acceptance. We want to earn it from our parents, peers, partners in life, people we respect ourselves, and even people we envy. The desire to be accepted drives us to do all kinds of things. It can influence the kind of clothes you wear, the kind of car you drive, the kind of house you buy, even the career you choose.
Would you agree that people do the craziest things to be accepted? Remember as a kid you wanted so badly to be in the in-crowd that someone would say to you, “I dare you to do this,” and you did something stupid. You did it because your desire to be accepted overruled the desire for personal safety in your life. When you played baseball as a kid and teams were chosen, remember how great it felt to be picked by the better player? Remember how bad you felt when they got down to the last two or three and you still weren’t chosen?
We love the feeling of being accepted.
Being chosen does tremendous things for your self-esteem. 1 Peter 4:9 says, “You are a chosen people” (NIV). That ought to raise your self-esteem! Christ has accepted you — not based on your performance, something that you earned, or something that you deserve. God simply says, “I chose you.”
You may have accepted Jesus into your life, but have you ever realized that Christ has accepted you? You don’t have to earn it; you don’t have to prove yourself.
“Even if my mother and father abandon me, the LORD will take care of me” (Psalm 27:10 GW). The fact is, some of you had parents whom you could never please. No matter what you did, it wasn’t good enough. If you got C’s, they wanted B’s. If you got B’s, they wanted A’s. If you got A’s, they wanted straight A’s.
The tragedy is that some of you today are still trying to prove yourself to your parents. You’re still trying to earn their acceptance, but, in all likelihood, you’re not going to get their approval if they haven’t given it to you by now, because that’s their problem. The good news is this: You don’t need it to be happy! There are 6 billion people in the world. If two people don’t like you, who cares? As a part of God’s family, you have been accepted by God!