Adam Northcroft
It's high time to reject rejection

Why does reality TV make such fascinating viewing for some people? The Big Brother show was pulling in nearly 6 million viewers at its height and even now gets well over a million.

Nathan Dewall from the University of Kentucky thinks he knows. Having spent years studying social exclusion he believes reality TV taps into a massive human need, that of acceptance. He explains the sub-text to programmes like Big Brother is the question of whether participants will be accepted or rejected. Finding out the fate of each person is important to viewers because it plays into their own need and fear.

Being accepted by those around us can produce a range of positive emotions that make life so much better. Conversely living with constant rejection can drag people into very dark places making existence unbearable.

Understanding the deep need we all have of acceptance brings what God has to say on the matter into sharp focus.

The Bible makes it clear that as Christians we have been accepted by Christ on the basis of the work of Christ. We are made righteous in His sight and are given access into God’s presence, with all trace of our sinful unacceptability removed.

This means our standing with God has been radically changed. Once a saving faith has been established our relationship with Him is eternally secure and peaceful, even if we make mistakes.

We can know that He wants us and values us, and that openness and honesty with Him is safe and won’t be punished with future rejection.

Christians can know amazing security because of the acceptance Jesus gives. However, getting this into our hearts can be tough.

Life has taught us we are accepted because of our good behaviour, so we assume if we mess up God will reject us. But the Bible teaches this is not true. We get His righteousness attributed to us. Period.

We need to retrain our hearts to know this radical truth. If we believe we are accepted by the living God, rejection by others needn’t wreck us. Deep, lasting peace and joy is a rightful inheritance for all Christians - something God wants us to find in Him and enjoy.