Tuesday, January 29, 2008


...The act of accepting; a receiving what is offered, with approbation, satisfaction, or acquiescence; esp., favorable reception; approval; as, the acceptance of a gift, office, doctrine, etc.

I finally got back to MOPS today (yes!), and our speaker talked on the many and varied definitions of acceptance. Her speech mostly pertained to accepting one's friends and family as they are, not expecting them to become more like we'd like them to be, and not making "projects" out of them. While that talk provides some useful lessons to me, (as most of my friends are thrilled to hear), it wasn't what struck me first and foremost today. What really struck me was the definition of acceptance....

Specifically, the "satisfaction" part. When you accept something, you are then saying that you're satisfied with it. And what is satisfaction?

Satisfy- in general, to fill up the measure of a want of (a person or a thing); hence, to grafity fully the desire of; to make content; to supply to the full, or so far as to give contentment with what is wished for.

"Supplied to the full"... "to give contentment with what is wished for..." What beautiful, full phrases those are! They are full of rich meaning and context and nuance.

Most of the time, when people talk about acceptance, everything in their implied definition of it speaks of grudging struggle. "Well, I've just come to accept that." "I have to accept him the way he is." When we speak of acceptance, being supplied to the full seems to be nowhere in the definition. We are accepting what we can't change, accepting something subpar or difficult. Satisfaction is far from our thoughts; resignation is the rule of the day.

When God gives me something, and He impresses on me that this is for my good and my best, and it's something that He intends as a blessing, do I accept it with true satisfaction? Or do I just accept it temporarily until something better comes along, something I think will satisfy me a little bit better? How quick am I to become dissatisfied with the thing that I'm supposed to accept with satisfaction?

This house is an example. When looking back through old posts, I came across the post where I told about this rental coming available. I had taken a ton of pictures, and in each one, I extolled the many virtues of our house. I noticed how great the kitchen and bathroom linoleum are, since they don't show dirt easily. That was then. Now I'm too quick to notice the grimy baseboards in there that don't want to come clean. The kitchen seemed so spacious to me then. Now I fret that we don't have a dining room. Back then, I saw only beauty. I still see beauty, but the bright satisfaction in acceptance of this blessing has faded some, to my shame. I look ahead, worrying about the next step and the next place to move and hungry for even more stabiliy, and I don't accept with satisfaction.

Satisfy-to give satisfaction; to afford gratification; to leave nothing to be desired.

There are so many things in life that we don't accept with satisfaction. We want more and more and more, and the list of our dissatisfactions grows longer every day. This condition is awfully old. Someone wrote about it about 2,000 years ago...

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.- James 4:1-3

Lord, please help me to find satisfaction with all the things you give me for acceptance. My acceptance of each thing you give should always include satisfaction, since it comes from your hands. Help me to be satisfied. I want to be more contented, more peaceful, resting in the gift of whatever good or bad situation or thing you provide.

1 comment:

Perry and Amanda said...

Good and deep thoughts