"For it is when the Lord thinks well of us that we are really approved, and not when we think well of ourselves." (2 Corinthians 10:18 TEV)
The effect of sin is always insecurity. The more we sin, the more insecure we become. Somebody ignores you at a party and you say, "They must not like me!" No, maybe they just didn't see you were there. But because you saw through the eyes of fear, you were vulnerable.
When we look at life through the eyes of fear, we don't see other people in their pain. We only see our fear. We miss opportunities to minister to others. We can only see ourselves and what victims we are. We must look and see the pain of others and give our lives away as Jesus said; otherwise, we are vulnerable to the fear of rejection.
The fear of rejection is actually a rejection of God’s truth. God not only created you to be unique. He also made you acceptable through Christ: “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” (Ephesians 1:4 NLT).
We are acceptable to God, not because of what we've done (we could never be good enough to be acceptable to a perfect God), but through what Jesus Christ has done. He died on the cross, paid for all our sins, and covered us with his love. God looks down and says, "What Jesus did was acceptable, and through him, you are now acceptable." All I have to do is accept what Christ has done for me and submit to his will.
God knows every single thing about you, and he still loves you. That is amazing. No matter who rejects you, God will never reject you. The Bible says, “My father and mother may abandon me, but the Lord will take care of me” (Psalm 27:10 TEV).
Some of you may still be trying to win your parents' approval. You never could get it growing up. But, if your parents rejected you growing up, it wasn't your problem; it was their problem. Parents who reject their children are actually rejecting God’s creations and telling God he made a mistake.
So it's not your problem; it's their problem. The truth is, if they haven’t accepted you by now, you probably won’t ever get it. But you don't need their approval to be happy. Your happiness does not depend on other people. God says no matter what, he will take care of you.
Talk About It
Whenever I ask a group of people about their fears, the number one fear is the fear of rejection. Why do you think that is so?
God has given us the Good News to share, but many times we don't share it because we’re afraid of what other people may think. Talk about the implications of this.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.