Levels of Acceptance

When we reject someone, if we look closely, we may find that we are repeating the same rejection that we ourselves have received. The same is true of those who have learned to be accepting of others. Typically, we give what has been given to us. However, your past rejection need not determine your future. You can grow in your ability to become more and more accepting – even when you yourself have been rejected. The Bible says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” (Isaiah 43:18)

  • Zero Acceptance: “No matter what I do, I’ll never be accepted.” The person who totally rejects you harbours deep hurt and bitterness and extends no grace and mercy. But the Bible says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31–32)
  • Performance-based Acceptance: “I feel accepted only when I perform perfectly.” The person who only accepts you based on how you act demands, “You must meet my requirements,” and rarely offers grace and mercy. But the Bible says, “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (James 2:13)

  • Unconditional Acceptance “No matter what I do, even when I fail, I always feel accepted.” The person who accepts you – especially when you fail – lives with a heart of grace and mercy … and reflects the heart of God. The Bible says, “Show mercy and compassion to one another.” (Zechariah 7:9)