When our identity/serenity and self-worth are based on the approval of someone else or on our performance, we have abandoned the acceptance of Jesus and the peace and serenity that that acceptance offers. When we are anxious about not doing the right thing for fear of loss of love, reprisal or dismissal, we have traded the true gold of God for the counterfeit metal the world offers.

One of the best things about going to an AA meeting or an Al-Anon group is that when you walk in the door nobody has to explain why we are there. There is an understood acceptance that allows us to feel safe and free to listen and maybe share as we find the road to recovery.

Jesus operates the same way. He offers identity, safety, and acceptance—without our having to earn it. Jesus stretches out His hands and accepts us because He loves us. He offers peace and security not because of anything we have done to deserve it. They are His free gift to us. This is called grace. When Jesus is our refuge, we don’t live in fear that if our secrets will be discovered or that we will screw up and His acceptance and love will be jerked away from us. We can live with confidence that His acceptance is unshakable. Gratitude, not fear, will be our motivation to serve Him wherever we walk.

Fearing husbands/wives, loss of our children’s love, or being afraid of bosses whose acceptance of us is based on what we do for them is like standing near quicksand. Lose our footing, and we sink beneath the surface. It is a recipe for anxiety and the never-ending spiral of worry about always measuring up…earning it!

Living with adequacy that comes by accepting the grace that Jesus offers is like standing on firm ground…the Rock of Ages! It is solid and steady…trustworthy and not based on performance. What a wonderful way to live our lives. A life following and worshiping Jesus is a place of real, authentic acceptance.