Why do you try so hard?

. . . to get what you already have?

Let’s face it: most of us try hard to be accepted.  We do a little extra here or there, work a little harder on this or that, and bend a little too much.  And most of us open ourselves to manipulation and abuse when we do these things.  It isn’t bad for us to be kind and give a little more.  What’s bad is when we do it to be accepted.

Why is that bad?  Because it doesn’t work and because it reveals our weakness and because it causes us to look past our reasonable cautions.  Also, when it doesn’t work, we find ourselves getting angry or hiding further into our cave.

You know what I mean.  You volunteer or are assigned a special job in your organization and you decide to do a very good job.  You put in a lot of time and creativity, only to have others criticize your ideas or dismiss your efforts.  It’s quite natural and understandable for you to be hurt because of the rejection, but isn’t there something more?  Even if you were not expecting or working for praise, you feel less connected, less acceptable, less wanted.  It is very likely that you were looking for acceptance, self-worth, through your work.

Engraved into the granite of our minds are the words, “If you do well, you will be accepted.”  No matter what we learn later, those words are still there.  We try to ignore them or reject them, but they are there to remind us every day.  They are carved into the thinking of the people around us and we see them written all over the world in which we live.

What if you could believe that you are already accepted at the highest level, equal in value to the greatest person in the world?  What if you could believe that your acceptance didn’t depend on your good work, but on the love of Jesus for you?  All of this is true!

Did you know that you are fully acceptable to God because of Jesus?  It was one of the things He did for you as you came to Jesus in faith.  The Father made you accepted in the Son.

to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:6

The thing you try so hard to get is already yours!  It really doesn’t matter what others think.  You will never be accepted by everyone in this world.  It doesn’t work that way.  But the One who does matter does accept you.  No more measuring up.  No more striving to be loved.  No more opening yourself to the cruelty and manipulations of others in an attempt to be accepted.  It is already done in Jesus.

So the next time you get that job in your organization or family, do it well because that’s who you are.  Do it well because you want to.  Then, don’t listen to those who use your work to position themselves.  Don’t accept any judgment of yourself but that of Jesus—who already finds you quite acceptable.

The Bible tells us to be transformed in our minds, in our thinking.  Perhaps it will surprise you one day to look back at the granite of your mind and realize that the words are different.  Now they say, “In me, you are always accepted.  – Jesus.”

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Filed under Grace definition, Relationship

One response to “Why do you try so hard?

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