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He came into the world He created, but the world didn’t recognize Him. He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him. But to all who believe Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn-not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” (John 1:10-12)

The human feeling of being rejected is something we learn to deal with from a child all the way up through adulthood. We learn its pain and we do all we can to avoid it. There are so many ways we seek to protect ourselves from rejection. We seek the antidote. Acceptance. We find it partially throughout our lives. But it is a moving target. Sometimes we find acceptance from people by how we perform a certain task or job. We find it by being part of a certain group. Or we can find acceptance from others by believing in a certain way…their way.

The Lord Jesus when He came as a baby 2000 years ago and lay down in that manger outside the crowded inn. He entered a life that would experience rejection from not being able to be accommodated in that crowded Bethlehem inn to dying a criminal’s death on a cross outside Jerusalem. He created the world, the universe and more. He wasn’t recognized, honored, accepted by the majority of us but rather was willing to die on a cross so that we sinful humans could be reborn and experience the miracle of acceptance from a holy Father.

To feel that deep down acceptance that doesn’t rely on anything but the person doing the accepting I have to go back to my birth. No, I don’t remember that far back! But I would love for my mom and my dad to tell the story (over and over again!) of what my dad did when I was born. He bought some cigars and walked around our Santa Barbara neighborhood and handed them out to our neighbors proudly exclaiming that “it’s a boy!” Acceptance. I hadn’t done a thing yet to earn it. The seed was planted then in me that I could live FROM acceptance rather than FOR acceptance.

That was experiencing it from the “outside in” as I knew my father accepted me, welcomed me in my arrival to this world. But when I became a father myself, I experienced it from the “inside out.” I was in Denver and in 1977, at 23, I became a father to a little girl that we named “Heidi Leilani Bohnett.” I was ready to take a back seat to my wife who really had done all the “heavy lifting” to bring her into this world but that wasn’t to be. She experienced a severe case of post-partum depression and much more fell upon me than I had prepared for.

The cold December days in Denver became a time of father-daughter bonding. I felt the love of total acceptance of this one who had yet to do anything to earn it. She was my daughter, and I was her dad. That was enough to give me great joy. Any sacrifice of sleep or comfort was more than worth it in those early days of her life. She later grew up to be a beautiful woman inside and out and has done much in her life I am very proud of, but I accepted her long before she did any of that. That is my joy as a human father, and she received the gift of living FROM acceptance rather than FOR acceptance.

The joy of acceptance our heavenly Father has over us His children is far beyond our earthly experiences either received or given but I am thankful that as a son and father I have had a little taste of it. The amazing thing about our God is that He has purposely faced rejection through His Son so that we can become fully accepted because of Him. “He has made us accepted in the Beloved (Jesus).” (Ephesians 1:6 NKJV)

This Christmas I celebrate being accepted by my heavenly Father because of His Son, Jesus, was willing to be rejected for all of us first. He paid the price I should have paid but never could have paid. He did this all so that I could be born into His glorious forever family. He provided me the ultimate gift of living FROM acceptance rather than FOR it!

Written by Jamie Bohnett. Contact the Author:


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