We truly live in a world where acceptance is put on a pedestal. It’s a natural tendency of ours to want to fit in and to want to belong. While it’s not wrong to want this, it is wrong to change who we are, what we believe in, or lower our standards in order to feel accepted. It is easy to fall into this acceptance trance of changing who we are so that we will feel accepted, but with the Holy Spirit’s help, we are able to discern whether or not something is right or wrong and then act upon the right choice (Job 32:8).
I remember a time when I went over to a friend's house and we all sat down to play a game. The game we ended up playing goes against all of the moral values that I have received from God. This game asked us to answer questions whose answers were clean, but made you think dirty. I knew at that moment that I had two choices: 1) I could set aside my moral values and stick it out in hope that nobody else would leave so I wouldn't look bad for playing, or 2) I could leave and go home, which would mean I’d be spending my afternoon by myself.
After thinking about it, and by allowing the Holy Spirit to convict me, I decided to get up and leave. By sacrificing my afternoon, I was opened up to gaining so much more because of the love and acceptance the Lord provides for those who obey Him (Job 36:11).
Because I remained who God wanted me to be, God was able to use that situation to influence those who were around me. A couple of days after that night, one of my friends that was there came to me and told me that he felt bad that he didn't leave; he realized that he shouldn't have stayed.
Sadly, a lot of times we choose to put our moral beliefs aside and indulge the evil desires of our hearts (Matthew 15:19). We get caught up in our want to be accepted and we forget that the acceptance of this world does not come close to comparing to the acceptance that the Lord provides. Because of our urge to feel accepted, we change who we are and we do things that we normally wouldn't do.
Do you find yourself acting different when you are around different people? Do your moral values go down during the week and then back up on the weekends when you go to church? We must constantly remind ourselves that as Christians we are new creations; our old self no longer has a hold on us. When we change who we have become through Christ, in order to be accepted by those of this world, we sacrifice the joy that comes from the acceptance of Christ that we would have enjoyed had we not rebelled.
Take refuge in the fact that God has always accepted you (Ephesians 1:4-6) and remember that the acceptance of God is far greater than any acceptance here on earth. Strive to get closer to the Lord and He will stay with you and provide for you all that you need (2 Chronicles 15:2). Allow the Holy Spirit to snap you out of the acceptance trance--otherwise you will get caught up in being accepted by this world and you will be left with false friends and messed-up morals.