Divinely Defined: Self-Acceptance
Self-acceptance, true confidence, seems to be a highly discussed concept yet one that remains elusive to the majority of us. Paradoxically, the concept is even more confusing in the Christian community. At times we seem to be unsure if it’s even okay to talk about it. If the conversation is started to what degree does it matter? One of the best ways to discover how valuable something is to us is to examine the fruit it produces when it’s present and the problems created in its absence.
David was a man in the bible known for many great triumphs in the Lord, and also failure. Yet, he had insight that, when combined with a lifestyle of worship and communion with God, was a powerful definer of the way David saw himself.
What defines you?
I think if we’re honest we would have to admit that at certain times, to varying degrees, we let the messages of the world around us have more than a little bit of say in who we are.
David, knew he was made and not only made but, perhaps even more scandalously, he proclaimed he was complexly and wonderfully made.
Listen to David as he relays the revelation that he is intimately known by God and created with love.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” Ps.139:13-14 (NLT)
If you’ve been in church for any length of time you’ve probably heard this passage! With good reason for here, David reveals a goal of finding our identity in God which is to know we are wonderfully made.
How many of us know that we are wonderfully made? Do you?
Knowing you are made has implications, and perhaps the most notable of which is the challenge to then accept your design.
How many of us can look in the mirror and actually thank God for how He made us?
We live in a world kingdom that constantly barrages us with the message that we are “not good enough.” The same propagators of that message offer empty, external solutions in things like the “right clothes”, cars, money, relationships, etc. When we live with the deep sense of not being good enough we are always striving to appease it in some way.
But if you know God today – you are not of that kingdom. If you don’t know Him yet, He wants to show you a better way.
I can remember a message by Chip Judd where he asked a group of people how many of them liked themselves. Sadly, very few hands went up and those who did appeared hesitant. I would suggest that this would be the generalized result in any group asked the same question. Why are we so often unable to express what David did about ourselves?
“I am wonderful”
We know from David’s life he couldn’t pull on a stellar, unscathed performance as a human being to arrive at his conclusion about himself (murder, adultery and other questionable behavior are found in his biography). He received that revelation by something else, or rather, Someone else.
Chipp Judd explains in his message on Boundaries, “The ultimate surrender to the sovereignty of God is to accept yourself.”
This statement doesn’t imply that we cease to yield to God’s loving hand at work molding us into who we were created to be. At present most of us are but a fragment of what we were truly made to be. Accepting ourselves does not mean accepting the broken parts of ourselves as an inevitability we cannot change. It means receiving the love and grace of our Father that covers our brokenness and cooperating with Him as He heals us with perfect wisdom and timing.
It simply means we choose to have the same opinion of ourselves as God has.
You may be surprised to find, like I was at first, that Father God defines you very differently than the voice of condemnation does. Condemnation is a strong sense of disapproval and it is rampant in both religious circles and those outside the church. Father God, however, chose to deal with condemnation in His plan of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, and as a consummation of the Father’s desire, we are accepted. Not just accepted or approved but loved and desired.
“There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ” Romans 8:1
If we are in Christ, the voice of condemnation has no relevance to us. Accepting ourselves means that we choose to look at ourselves and learn to love ourselves the way God our Father does.
We choose to become divinely defined.
“For the LORD delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory” Ps.149:4.
We can refuse to let social media or anything else define our value but in order to do that we need to have our identity and worth planted in our Father and His love for us.
David’s confidence in himself resulted from his confidence in God’s love and value for him.
I would say the secret to all David’s strength and success was found in the relationship he had with God being revealed to us in Psalm 139.
I want to encourage you to ask Father God to tell you how He sees you. You can start by thanking Him the way David did and for making you how He has made you. If there is something about yourself you don’t like or that has been a painful experience for you, ask Him to come in and heal that pain replacing every lie with His truth.
To live divinely defined is a counter-culture pursuit but one worth fighting for. The love and value that God has for us never fails. We honor our Creator by honoring His creation which is, ourselves.