God Grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
to change the things I can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference.
I poured my coffee and asked God, “Please write something through me today,”
To which I heard distinctly, “Acceptance.”
Immediately, I began thinking about how my acceptance of myself impacts my acceptance of others. I began thinking about my children, and how I’ve prayed that they would have confidence in Christ – more than in just merely themselves. The world talks about how important self-confidence is, and it is important. Even more important, however, is one’s confidence in Christ. I also thought about how we all love to be accepted by others, but Jesus said in this world we will have trouble, but take heart because He’s overcome the world. So, regardless whether people accept us or not, one’s real worth and affirmation is found in our acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God, and in return – in His acceptance of us.
“I am telling you the truth now before it happens so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
1 John 1:23
The next devotional in this God & Coffee: grace unleashed series is entitled, Approved or Appointed, in which I address the issue of acceptance. I discuss how God did make us in such a way that we need Him, and we need others. This is why He says, do not forsake the gathering of the saints, and to encourage one another as long as it is called today (Hebrews 10:25). I will say, it is nice when people accept us, but God wants to bring us to be at a place where 10 out of 10 people love us or 10 out of 10 people hate us, and we are not swayed either way.
“All men will hate you because of me, but he who stand firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of the household! So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”
Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
I never knew my earthly father. He had a heart-attack and died in the snow in Alaska when I was 14-years-old; I was still planning on going to Alaska to find him one day. When I was 32-years-old, I was writing Where the Red Cardinals Fly(a novel of faith based on my life story), and God orchestrated the most amazing turn of events that led me to my earthly father’s family. When I knocked on my Uncle Reese’s (my dad’s younger brother) and Aunt Pam’s door in Enumclaw, Washington, the first thing my Uncle Reese said and did as he reached his right index finger out and touched, lightly, pushing down on the ridge of my nose was “You have your dad’s bump.”
For a minute I was mortified because I had always hated my nose, and I have contemplated saving up enough money to have that exact bump removed. After I returned to Georgia, I was looking through all the pictures that my dad’s family had given me, and I was mesmerized by that bump. My dad had the exact same nose as me – or, I had the exact same nose as him! All of a sudden, I loved my nose! My nose was awesome! It was beautiful, actually. It kind of made me look like a lion! (Okay, maybe that last one was excessive). But, it was cool! I looked at my nose in the mirror many times after that, and I smiled. Don’t worry, I didn’t become arrogant about my beautiful, big nose (smile), but I did finally accept it! At 32-years-old, I finally accepted my nose.
I now know that the reason that I finally accepted my nose was because I realized it came from my father! And I do not at all mean to compare my nose to Jesus, but I realize that Jesus came from our Heavenly Father, and to accept Jesus is to accept the Father. Additionally, when one accepts Jesus they are accepted by the Father! When we realize the value of what the Father has given us, subsequently, we are that much more likely to realize the value of our self. We realize this profound Truth, in part, because we realize we were created by our Heavenly Father. He has immeasurable value, and so do we because we are His creation. It’s a beautiful thing!
God wants us to love and value ourselves and others, but He knew that would be extremely difficult to do on this earth (given the amount of evil and difficult circumstances that we face). Therefore, He sent His only Son to die for our sins so that we might accept Him, and in return receive the acceptance and love of our Heavenly Father.
Whatever age you are, and whatever your physical features, I pray that you find your worth in Him, and accept your beautiful self.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.