One of the deepest cravings of the human heart is to be accepted. Experiencing rejection by family, friends, colleagues, a church family, or anyone who is an important part of our life–can be completely devastating. Acceptance produces self-respect and a feeling of being worthwhile. It is feeling appreciated for who God made us, not just what we do. When we are accepted for who we are, then we can open up and truly grow to our potential because we are unafraid to address our defects for fear we will be rejected. We are not locked in past failures and we are free to live the future. St. Augustine said: “A friend is someone who knows everything about you and still accepts you.” Do we have a friend who accepts us like this? YES!! Because of Jesus’ sacrifice we have the opportunity to have God’s PERFECT friendship! On the night before He sacrificed His life for us, Jesus prayed this amazing prayer: “O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:25-26) Jesus expressed His unequivocal knowledge of The Father’s love and prayed that WE would also know Him. That was the reason for His sacrifice! When we become God’s children, we obtain the full acceptance of God; however, we need to LIVE like we KNOW we possess it. Do we prefer to be be locked up in the self destructive pattern of trying to gain acceptance, rather than living in the freedom to be who God made us?! When we discover God as our best Friend, we discover the Rock Who anchors us. He knows all our crazy dreams, our failures and our weaknesses; however, when we know HIM, we then learn to live in the confidence of who He made us instead of the uncertainty of who we wish we were. A child gains confidence when he grows up in a home where he is accepted and–to gain knowledge of God’s acceptance, we must choose to live close to our Father!