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THE BASIS OF ACCEPTANCE

Oprah Winfrey said, “I discovered I didn’t feel worthy of love unless I was accomplishing something. I suddenly realized I have never felt I could be loved for just being.” Madonna said, “My drive in life is from this horrible fear of being mediocre. That’s always been pushing me, pushing me. Because even though I’ve become somebody, I still have to prove I am somebody.”


Chris Evert, the great women’s tennis champion said, “I had no idea who I was, or what I could be away from tennis,” as she recalled the final years of her career. She said, “I was depressed and afraid because so much of my life had been defined by my being a tennis champion. I was completely lost. Winning made me feel like I was somebody. It made me feel pretty. It was like being hooked on a drug. I need the wins, the applause, in order to have an identity.” But when she no longer won, life changed; she didn’t feel accepted.


You know, all of us want to be accepted. We want to win the approval of people around us and have a sense of belonging. Yet so much of the acceptance we receive is dependent upon how we look or how we perform; or where we grew up or to whom we’re related.


One of the greatest concerts I’ve ever been to was the 1987 Joshua Tree Tour by U2 in Atlanta, Georgia. And one of my favorite songs from that album was “Where the Streets Have No Name.” The inspiration for the song came from Bono’s Northern Ireland upbringing. He said you could tell a person’s religion and income based on what street they lived on.


Therefore he was looking forward to a place where the streets would have no names. In other words, where people would be seen as equals. Where people would be on an equal footing in life.

From a sermon by Erik Estep, Where the Streets Have No Name, 5/16/2012

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