The Joy of Being Fully Known and Fully Loved

Rejection hurts some more than others but rejection hurts everyone. From birth people seek love and acceptance; it is the deepest human need. Children raised in an environment of love and acceptance will likely, grow up to love and accept themselves. Such a childhood is the ideal and not the norm. Every family is infected with some level of dysfunction. Children grow up with the self-image their parents taught them and reflect their parent’s acceptance or rejection, in how they think about themselves as adults. Parents aren’t the only influence in a child’s life. Other adults with authority and peers also, teach children who they are, by how they receive and treat them.  The way in which a child’s race, social status, and religion are perceived by the community that the child must learn to negotiate also, determines the child’s perceived value of their personal identity.

Few of us enter adulthood confident in our view of self and most of us don’t rightly value ourselves. Like the world around us, we value ourselves according to status and personal accomplishments. According to this system, wrong choices and personal failures decrease our worth and no number of right choices and success can balance the account. As adults, even when fame, fortune, and power are obtained, the need to be fully accepted and fully loved remains. A low self-value creates an emotional vacuum that makes it impossible to rightly value and love others. Naturally, we use the same rule of measure on others as we use against ourselves. No one measures up and we can’t love anyone when we can’t even love ourselves.

In God’s eyes, we are all valuable. There isn’t anyone, no matter what station in life or their achievements that can increase or decrease how He values us. He knows everything about us, even better than we know ourselves and He loves us anyway. His acceptance and love doesn’t include approval of our harmful actions but His love and acceptance, when received by us, is a new beginning. By mirroring God’s right view of ourselves, we are transformed and we learn to live a better way. The bad information we learned about ourselves and others in childhood is replaced with healthy information. Understanding that no one is above us and no one is beneath us, in God’s eyes, allows us to value ourselves and others as equal. When the human system of earned value is discarded and replaced by the view that all are equal before God, love and self-acceptance rush in.  The right view of ourselves empowers us to love others as we love ourselves, in the way all people should be loved. The love and acceptance everyone needs is embodied in the person of Jesus. He is the One who lived to demonstrate how God values His children. Even though by turning away from our Father, we have degraded and devalued one another, God loves us and manifests His full love and acceptance through Jesus the Christ. In Jesus, the deepest human need for acceptance and love is met.

Ref. John 4:1-29– The Samaritan Woman at the Well

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