You may not be old enough to remember, Cheers, the TV sitcom of the 80s. But perhaps you are familiar with the theme song, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name.” The stanza goes as follows:
“Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
And they’re always glad you came;
You want to be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same:
You want to be where everybody knows your name.”
In other words, you want to be accepted, just as you are. Acceptance plays a huge role in the lives of every individual. It is the exact opposite of being bullied and rejected. I believe that people bully so that they can force their acceptance upon others. Most likely they have been rejected themselves. They parade that rejection by rejecting others in hopes that they will get followers that will admire their display of power.
Wanting to be accepted, as well, the weak minded do follow this perverse display of power. You’ve seen it with global leaders. Who would willingly follow Hitler or Stalin or any other destructive personality? You would think it would be obvious to walk away from that vulgarity, but the desire of acceptance is overwhelming.
You can witness this as the display seems to evolve from the playground into the lives of world leaders today. You hear of the news of horror stories of children committing suicide because they were bullied, and not accepted. And others kill those around them in anguish of rejection.
The pressures of acceptance is so intense that individuals will go against their conscience so that they will be accepted by those around them. In fact, I am sure that the crowds that have been displayed on our streets are filled with people who have no idea why they are joined together to protest, except that their peers are doing it. It is the thing to do, if you want to be part of the “in group”. I’ve listened to street interviews asking what their opinion is regarding a movement and the individuals interviewed are clueless. They are just following the crowd. These are not the first days this has happened.
Think about the holy movement taking place when Jesus walked the earth. Crowds heard about this man that did miracles and they smothered him. But just as quickly when a few strong voices screamed to crucify him, individuals joined in on the band wagon and began repeating the same words. Those who didn’t were silent or scurried away.
It was the same with Paul. There was a huge riot when he and some of those witnessing with him, visited Ephesus. The people were angry but there was a confusion.
“Some people shouted one thing while others shouted something else. The crowd was confused. Most of the people didn’t even know why they had come together.” Acts 19:32 (GWT)
“Everybody’s doing it. I want to be part of the larger voice,” they may have thought, as many are doing in this hour. “I want to fill the longing of acceptance that rages in my heart.”
I recently listened to a testimony of a person that temporarily left the church because of being hurt and rejected by those she trusted. She explains that the rejection and hurt in her heart was so overwhelming that she began to look elsewhere. She found acceptance in the LGBTQ community. She explained that, that particular community of people is so welcoming of any person that is seeking acceptance. It is extremely easy to feel like you belong. From there she got involved in street gangs. You can read her story in her book, “Behind Enemy Lines” by Nicole Collins. Or watch her testimony on Main Street @ https://youtu.be/RfMV-e5g10g
It is very easy to compromise your beliefs or morals because of the power of rejection and craving of acceptance. I believe that is a main reason that people today are rushing towards that lifestyle. It is growing with rapid speed as it is a community which embraces anyone as long as you embrace their lifestyle.
“Please accept me, please do not reject who I am. I need to be heard and acknowledged.”
As much as that is true. The lifestyle is a fraud to the “real” power of acceptance. In the end of that trail is an image of you standing alone, rejecting the one who loves you the most.
I have good news. The Lord promises he will accept you when those around you forsake you and disappoint you. There are churches and/or church goers who have lost the drive to tell the lost that there is hope. It is the purpose of the Gospel. The real Church is not a community club. It’s people who have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb and who desire to share that hope with others so they too can be set free.
Unfortunately, many in the church are not followers of Christ, so the purpose is tarnished.
But the Lord DOES accept you and will not leave you even if others do. Thus the Bible verses:
“But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)
“Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD WILL RECEIVE ME.” Psalm 27:10
The Lord again promises in Hebrews that he will NEVER LEAVE YOU OR ABANDON YOU.
At the end of every single one of Billy Grahams messages the song that would play was: “JUST AS I AM”.
“Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee
O Lamb of God, I come! I come.
He takes us just as we are. He accepts us! He doesn’t leave us as we are though. He takes us from glory to glory as we spend time in his presence, as we seek him. The Word states that if we seek him with all of our hearts he WILL be found. (Jeremiah 29:13) It isn’t that he is lost, we are, or were. It is just that we didn’t see him until we looked for him.
We are HIS.
I am HIS.
You are HIS – if you ask to be, if you want to be.
We are accepted into the family of God. People will let you down. None of us are perfect. But he is! That is when we need to forgive, as he has forgiven us. Forgiveness sets us free. And when you mess up, run to him quickly. He doesn’t turn his arms away from a broken heart. NEVER.
HE has already accepted you. Run home to HIM today.
If you do, one day you will be in a place where everyone knows your name, and everyone will be glad you came. It won’t be in a bar where there is brokenness and a life of troubles. It will be in a place called Heaven, in the very presence of the Lord.
Your name can be written in the Book of Life today.