Everyone is looking for acceptance. Whether it's by our co-workers, friends, or even our family, everyone wants to feel loved by the ones they are surrounded by. As a middle child, I was always looking to fit in and be accepted by my friends in the neighborhood. It wasn’t easy growing up with Italian parents who spoke broken English. Their strong ethnic culture always seemed to collide with the American culture. While they did the best they could to help us grow up in America, I felt caught between two worlds. In those early years, we were the brunt of a lot of kids jokes. I wanted to be accepted so bad. So I thought I had to be wild and crazy to gain the approval of others. In the end, my need to want to be accepted got me into so much trouble. This is true to so many others as well. In our desire to be loved by those around us, often times we find ourselves doing things that are destructive to our lives. 

Yet the Bible has so much to say about acceptance. Ephesians 1:6 says God made us accepted in the beloved. What does this mean? God's beloved is His son Jesus and God loves His son. He’s proud of Him. The Son can do nothing to forfeit being accepted by God. Wait. This also says God made us accepted in the beloved. Whether we realize it or not, God has accepted us too! Not because we are so good and do everything right. He accepts us because we are in the Son! God sees us as His beloved because of the perfect life Jesus lived and what He accomplished when He died on the cross. Because of Jesus' perfection, God has made us accepted in the Beloved.   

Think about it. You don’t have to measure up to a certain standard to please God. You don’t have to pray to be accepted. You don’t have to go to church to be accepted. You should pray. You should go to church. These things are good and can help you grow, but they won't make you accepted. You are already accepted! And the more we know how much we are accepted and loved by God, the more we can expect good things to happen in our lives.

Why struggle so hard to be accepted by the ones around you, when you're already accepted by God, the creator of life? If there's anyone we should desire to be accepted by, it's God Himself. And the good news is He's already accepted you. God loves you. He wants you to wake up every day knowing that you are His beloved and accepted.