How much of our lives are spent trying to earn acceptance in some fashion?
* Are we doing the "right" diet? Should we even be on a diet?
* Are we wearing the "right" clothes?
* Are we using the "right" make up in "right" proportions?
* Are we sporting the "right" haircut?
* Are we engaged in the "right" kinds of activities?
My children come to me and ask things like "Does this look ok? Do my clothes match? What do you think of this hairstyle? Do you think I am fat?" And on and on. Some of that is just part of the learning curve of figuring out cultural appropriateness, but largely there is the unstated admission behind it that I want to fit in, I want to be accepted. They have the honesty to ask out loud what many only think inwardly, but unless you are the exception, we all have insecurities and fear of man issues that require us to hear and trust God's gracious word to us, or remain enslaved.
God tells us that if we are His, He has already made us accepted in the Beloved. The jury is not still out...the verdict has been rendered. He has made us accepted in the Beloved! Let those words sink in. And share them with your children if God has blessed you with them. They need to hear as much as we do that they ARE loved, they don't have to earn it. They ARE beautiful, made by God as His image bearers, gifted to bear good fruits. Is this the message they hear from you?
Let's live out of response to God's goodness to us...His love already bestowed. Put off these enslaving worries and all the associated fears of man, and walk as children of Light. That doesn't mean that anything goes with food and clothes and activities...but it does mean that these things are no longer governed by worries over being accepted or gaining approval or getting noticed.
* Eat with thankfulness for God's glory from those things He provides.
* Adorn your beautiful God-designed body with clothes and make up and hair cuts and jewelry that aim to reflect the beauty of the Lord to others because He already loves you, and you are already accepted in the Beloved (note that a simple observation of God's creation indicates that God enjoys variety..we do not all have to look alike).
* And as far as activity goes, if we really begin to embrace the heights and depths of God's great love for us, we will grow in our desires to be about our Father's business because we will be wanting to be doing what He is doing right alongside of Him...our choices of how we use the gift of time He gives will begin to reflect more and more the mission of our God.
What a privilege we have been given. Let's not spend our days trying to win approval of others for ourselves....let's know we are already approved by the One that matters most and truly live. "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" ~ 1 John 3:1