Spring break 2013—Cancun. Raw images of thousands of teenagers and college students flashed across my television as they descended on pristine beaches and resorts like vultures on a raw carcass, gobbling up every piece of once-called beauty and leaving behind only bare bones. And so it goes year after year after year.
Intoxication is the name of the game, and science reveals that girls reach a higher blood-alcohol concentration faster than guys. The result—drunk girls on spring break doing anything the guys want. Under the influence of alcohol, girls are easily pressured into bad situations.
This post doesn’t point the finger at spring break, Cancun, or even drinking alcohol. It has to do with acceptance. That’s right, acceptance.
Everyone, in one way or another, finds acceptance. We long for it. Many times we search for acceptance in doing what other people want. Now at first glance, it seems that being pressured to do the “right” things is better than being pressured to do the “wrong” things. But in all honesty, both revolve around being accepted by other people because of your actions. Neither one is consistent with the gospel.
Here’s the truth—if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are accepted, and it is NOT based on what you have done. It is based on what Jesus has done that you could never do.
But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children—children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God (John 1:12–13 NET).
Finding acceptance, either for the “right” things or the “wrong” things, is anti-gospel. You are already accepted in Christ. So why do you still seek to be accepted? Because you have naturally limited Christ’s acceptance of you in Himself. You live spring break. You’re intoxicated with wanting to be accepted by other people.
Dwelling on the truth that you are accepted in Christ, imagining the ramifications, and allowing God’s Spirit to lead you dramatically affects how you perceive the acceptance of others. And one day, when Jesus returns, spring break will finally be over. You will encounter the fullest extent of acceptance.
What about you? What have you done (both “right” and “wrong”) to gain acceptance from others? What pressures do guys put on you in order for you to feel accepted?