It has been a while since I have written a post. Many things have taken place in my life. Many changes have occurred. I am definitely not the same person I was at the beginning of 2018. In the midst of learning more about myself, I have come to realize some of the root causes of many interpersonal challenges of my life.
During this reflection, I want to begin with a simple question….Have you ever wanted to be accepted?
Have you ever wanted someone somewhere to look at you and say simply, You’re alright with me! for 37 years, I have looked around at different times hoping that someone would simply say those words. Yes, I still deal with the challenges of acceptance. Yes, I love God and know that God loves me. Yes, all people want to be validated in their uniqueness. And yes, people do arrive at certain points of existence to discover that healthy doses of validation are very useful to one’s existence.
At different points of living, I realize why I attached myself to certain people at certain moment. When somebody saw my value (or what eventually was my value to their lives), I held on for dear life. I held on believing that one day that they would pour back into my life when I need it. 90% of the time that type of reciprocal relationship did not develop. When I would arrive at that conclusion, I faced the normal cycle–resentment, anger, hurt, depression, and isolation.
The cycle is a very painful experience. You hate going through it. You despise the feelings from it. You are prepared to do almost anything to get rid of it. You will even sacrifice certain elements of yourself (spiritually, emotionally, personally, etc) just to make the feeling stop. Only you realize that it becomes a spiral effect to your existence.
So what can a person do to get through this testing issue?
Whether you believe it or not, no simple answers can be given. Some people go to counseling to unpack the problem. Some individuals place a significant amount of energy into their spiritual development. Yet, others choose to find other outlet to process their issues. Nevertheless, I offer some imagery from the Christmas narrative that hit my spirit in an unusual way this morning.
Mary and Joseph followed an order of the government to return to their birthplace. They were to be accounted for tax purposes. The move would give an accurate of account of the assets of the Roman Empire and cause a significant boost in the economic status of all hospitality businesses (hotel, motel, Holiday Inn…). They arrive prepared to pay for their stay, but every place was booked.
One innkeeper saw the condition of Mary and provided a solution. The solution was to allow the couple to stay among dirty animals in a barn like structure. Even though the pregnant condition was significant, birthing a child did not warrant a more sanitary response. So Jesus was born among animals, wrapped in milk cloths, and was placed in a feeding trough.
For all the different ways we attempt to romanticize this scene, the truth is that they were put out back. The Christ was not born in a palace. The heir to physical throne of Israel did not receive the royal treatment he deserved. The basic human value of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus was not readily received. Yet, Jesus was the promise of redemption and the premise for our salvation.
So, what does any of this have to do with acceptance?
- We must recognize that all people in our environment will not have knowledge of our significance. Most people are not prepared to encounter or embrace our significance to God or the environment. They are not always privileged to the inside information about our lives and purpose. They will treat us according to their basic roots and values.
- Don’t waste time on making people understand who you are. In the story, you never hear Mary or Joseph announce the importance of this pregnancy to anyone. It is not depicted in the story as a point of urgency or privilege. The more we attempt to push our value toward people who can not receive it, the more weary we become in the process. It takes more energy to teach a brick wall than allowing a revelation to hit a willing, open vessel.
- God will always provide the right type of validator to encourage your purpose and destiny. Even though the innkeeper did not place greater value on the family, God sent individuals to affirm and confirm the arrival the Lord’s Christ. Hear me today! No matter what temporary individual think of you in a moment, God provides those who see you in your future in spite of your current temporary status. The shepherds came in reverence to the manager. The magi traveled from the east to show respect to the fulfillment of prophecy. The angels sang at his arrival. It is not your current address that makes you. It is the journey and purpose that will define destiny.
- God will intentionally teach us how to receive our own value through His eyes. I cannot lie to you. This thought is the hardest one to embrace from time to time. We focus so much on what our environment tells us that we can forget that God uniquely designed every aspect of our existence. When we want to spiral out of control, we must remember that we have a design. We are created on purpose, with purpose, for a purpose. We must remember that a humble beginning is not the confirmation of our lot in life. At every stage, God will remind us we are worth it.
When you don’t feel like you’re worth it, remember God gave you a magnificent gift. You are not just special, but you are unique. You are necessary. You are important. You are a gift to the world. The baby we celebrate was the manifestation of salvation before the cross or grave entered the picture. You are the seed that will make impact on the world. Even if no one accepts you today, they will not be able to deny you tomorrow.
Merry Christmas to all…