On the flip side of accepting the world as it is is the rather naïve idea that somehow the world is going to accept us as Christians or sober addicts or just plain ole 'nice people.' Stupid idea.
I don't know how many times I've dealt with a newcomer who is plastered in tattoos and decked out with a dozen piercings, all wrapped in the most outrageous clothing one can manage to purchase off-the-rack, who cries with full force at how people 'judge' him or her. Sometimes I have to hurt myself to not laugh: what do you expect when you make yourself about as profoundly ostentatious as you possibly could?
The world is not obligated to accept us. No one is. People, either as individuals or societies, have the right to spurn us and reject us. There is no moral obligation for people to accept us, because there is simply no moral way to force them to do it. You can't make people love you.
The modern mind seems to think that we can force people to love us. First, we do it by 'teaching' them about who we are. When that doesn't work, they we outlaw every possible expression of their rejection.
Then, folks wonder why there is still alienation and dislike all around them. Well, you've not only taken their freedom away, but you've also made them bandits. Silly, isn't it?
Some will say, "A child is not born to hate. Hate is taught."
Baloney. We are all born with the capacity to hate just as much as we are born with the capacity to love. If you believe that a person can overcome the hate they are taught, then you are also by extension admitting that this same person can choose to hate something else or hold onto that hate. Yes, what to hate can be taught, but hating itself is so natural that those who often crow the loudest about tolerating one group of people are perfectly at home with hating those who disagree with them... another group of people!
This means most calls for 'ending hate' are utterly self-serving. It is just 'hatred reassignment.'
Remember that bumper-sticker, "Hate is not a Family Value." It was used in the beginning of the big campaign to push for gay rights at the end of the last century. If you went or go to a gay rights event and mention you might not agree with 'gay marriage,' you'll get plenty of hate.
If you don't accept their ideas, and they will see you as the enemy. They will never, ever accept you. Not just your opinions or thoughts, but you yourself for having such ideas. This is why such movements ultimately become what they preach against. The world considers humans and their opinions as completely inseparable. Therefore, when you have a 'bad' thought or idea, you are a bad person.
When confronted with its hate, the world will deny it and put on dulcet tones sounding like a kindergarten teacher. Don't be fooled. The hate is still there because the human will, without God, only operates in two directions: desire and anxiety. If you are not what people of the world want, you are a cause for their anxiety and they will not only not accept you, they will try to destroy you. That is hate: the rejection and destruction of what causes anxiety.
You see, the world cannot separate us from our ideas because to do so means acknowledging that humans have the right to disagree. The world does not want disagreement, but utter compliance. Law and politics all seek compliance and harmony and obedience. God seeks our compliance, but in a voluntary manner. He does not force us to do anything, including those things that will save us from self-destruction. Yet, humans do become totalitarian while trying to make the world a better and 'safer' place.
This is why the more idealistic a people become, the more people they end up murdering.
Now, you can go ahead and reject the world back by tattooing yourself from head to toe and piercing yourself a thousand times, but don't expect the world to then embrace you. Well, these days, you may very well get that hug, but not from everyone.
If you want peace, then you had better understand that no one is obligated to love you or appreciate you or even be polite. You don't have the right to control another person's opinion of you. You can only expect that they maintain the rule of law and not attempt to repress you.
Just remember, an ugly stare is not repression. Repression means physical harm or restricting your lawful activities. Just because someone wants to make faces or snide comments or hold bad opinions does not constitute 'violence.'
By allowing the other person to do those things and hold those opinions, you are affirming his and your own free wills. He is allowed to be upset by you. That is his misery. Let him be miserable!
Do you want to be free? They give others their freedom! Give the world the freedom to reject you, and you will give yourself freedom from the approval and acceptance of others. This is where real sobriety kicks in.
When you demand that others love you, you are depriving them of the freedom you seek. When you hate others because of their beliefs, just remember that you are condemning yourself. After all, the addict struggles to accept that his thoughts are not the sum total of who he is, and the true Christians rejects the idea that people are defined by their temptations.
You and I are not what we think. We are what we are created to be by God. This is true for everyone. We must look past other people's thoughts and opinions to see them in the Image and Likeness of God.
The world cannot do this because the world does not see God, and so the world cannot see us for who we really are. Don't expect the world to live in function of the Gospel or sobriety when the world knows nothing about either one.
Accept, but do not expect acceptance.